‘Daredevil’ Season Two Finds Its Punisher In ‘Walking Dead’ Alum Jon Bernthal

A longtime Marvel fan-favorite will be making his way to the small screen next year, as the House of Ideas announced on Tuesday that Jon Bernthal has been cast as the gun-toting Punisher, in the second season of the hit Netflix series, Daredevil.

Fans of the hit zombie series The Walking Dead will recognize Bernthal from his turn as Shane, the hotheaded friend of Rick Grimes whose temper and lust for Rick’s wife eventually led to a disastrous falling out, as well as a big revelation on the show. Now, Bernthal will likely be playing a much different character, as the Punisher is more known for a simmering, ever present rage tempered by a calculating mind.

Marvel’s announcement on Tuesday pointed to Bernthal’s work on The Walking Dead, as well as previous roles in Wolf of Wall Street and Fury, as the reason behind his casting.

“Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation, and vulnerability that will connect with audiences,” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television. “[The Punisher’s] appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock, and nothing will be the same.”

As in the comics, Bernthal’s Punisher will be a vigilante looking to clean up the streets of Hell’s Kitchen. Unlike Daredevil, the Punisher has no qualms about killing, and the next season of Daredevil will likely see no small number of criminals dispatched by gunfire from the Punisher. This tendency to take down crooks by any means necessary will likely bring the Punisher into conflict with Daredevil, as Daredevil has typically found the Punisher’s methods abhorrent.

As yet unrevealed are the Punisher’s costume and, perhaps more importantly, his origin. Given the grittier, more realistic tone of the Daredevil series, it’s unlikely that the Netflix version of the Punisher will don the same spandex unitard of his comic book counterpart. It also seems unlikely that the Netflix Punisher will have the same Vietnam-rooted origin of the comic book Punisher.

Bernthal will be the the latest in a line of live-action Punishers. Beginning with a Punisher movie in 1989, the character has been portrayed by three other actors, though each of those cinematic efforts failed to achieve real success at the box office.

Even given Marvel’s unbroken string of box office successes, Daredevil‘s success on Netflix this year came as something of a surprise. In addition to viewer accolades, the dark and gritty Daredevil also managed to snag no small degree of critical praise – not just for its action and effects, but also for its acting and writing. The highly anticipated second season of the show – which will see Charlie Cox, Elden Henson, Deborah Ann Woll, and Rosario Dawson all returning – is set to hit the streaming network next year.

[Image via Chris Jackson, Getty Images.]