It’s official: The Punisher will be coming to Netflix as a standalone series. Daredevil fan-favorite Frank Castle is set to star in his own spin-off series after a brilliant performance by Jon Bernthal captivated fans and sparked no end of speculation that Netflix would be picking up yet another Marvel TV series.
Entertainment Weekly reports that the new Marvel series will be coming to Netflix with Jon Bernthal attached to reprise his role as The Punisher, Frank Castle. But there’s another twist: One of the producers behind the critically acclaimed Hannibal TV series will serve as The Punisher’s showrunner, hopefully bringing some of Hannibal’s artistic brutality and visceral visual style to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“We want to thank the fans who are clamoring for more of Jon’s stunning and powerful performance as Frank Castle from Marvel’s Daredevil. Now combined with showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s compelling writing, we’re thrilled to bring Marvel’s The Punisher to Netflix,” said Jeph Loeb, the head of Marvel Television, in a statement earlier today.
According to Entertainment Weekly, an official announcement for the latest Marvel Netflix collaboration will likely be forthcoming, and fans can hope for a trailer. However, it’s likely any new announcement will only be accompanied by a teaser officially announcing The Punisher rather than a full-on trailer featuring new footage. Earlier today, the official Netflix Twitter account changed its avatar to the Punisher’s iconic skull logo and tweeted out a quick teaser video, reports E! News.
“For me, the complexity and unpredictability of Frank Castle make him an incredibly compelling character and I couldn’t be more excited to dive into this world. After watching Jon’s performance in Marvel’s Daredevil, I could not be more excited to be working with him to further develop and progress the story of this anti-hero in a show of his own,” said Steve Lightfoot, the executive producer on Hannibal and now the showrunner for Netflix’s The Punisher.
We first got a glimpse of Jon Bernthal’s version of Frank Castle (The Punisher) during the second season of Marvel’s critically acclaimed Daredevil series on Netflix. Bernthal brought a certain intensity and vulnerability to the character that captivated fans and critics alike. According to some critics, Bernthal’s take on Frank Castle (The Punisher) was the best part of the otherwise less-than-stellar second season of Marvel’s Daredevil. Bernthal’s Frank Castle was brutal, brilliant, and incredibly human, a deeply flawed and deeply sympathetic anti-hero and an excellent counterpoint to Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox).
“Jon hooked our global audience with his performance as Frank Castle from the moment he stepped on screen in Marvel’s Daredevil, and we are looking forward to seeing more of him in this role under the vision of Steve Lightfoot,” said Cindy Holland, the vice president of original content at Netflix.
There’s no word yet if Jon Bernthal’s Frank Castle (The Punisher) will appear in the Marvel Netflix crossover miniseries The Defenders, which is slated to feature Jessica Jones (Kristin Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), Iron Fist (Finn Jones), and Daredevil (Charlie Cox), in the next couple years. The Defenders will feature all of the Marvel heroes on Netflix so far, but it’s not clear if The Punisher will join the team for the Avengers-style team-up miniseries.
Jon Bernthal (The Punisher) and Steve Lightfoot are no strangers to TV. Lightfoot started out as a writer for the British TV series Casualty before moving up to executive producer. Bernthal is perhaps best known for his role as Shane on AMC’s The Walking Dead, another comic book adaptation that’s been met with widespread critical acclaim and a dedicated fan-following.
There’s no word yet on when The Punisher will debut on Netflix.
[Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for Netflix]