With the July release of The Defenders the unofficial first “phase” of filmmaking between Marvel Studios and Netflix came to a close. The series featured Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage, while peppering the world with supporting characters from all four shows. However, there was one hero who was conspicuously absent from the vigilante party, Frank Castle aka The Punisher.
Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) made such a huge impression in his role as Castle in the second season of Daredevil, that the producers wasted no time spinning the character off into his own show. The character’s introduction last year set the stage for The Punisher to fully flesh out the origin and motivations for perhaps Marvel’s most unstable “hero.”
The series’ showrunner is Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal) and supporting Bernthal in the cast is Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, Deborah Ann Woll who reprises her role as Karen Page, as well as Ben Barnes as Billy Russo. Russo goes on to become Jigsaw in the comics, perhaps The Punisher’s most iconic adversary, so it’s likely that we might get an origin story for the disfigured villain during the course of the first season.
Each of the Netflix/Marvel series have addressed real world issues in the guise of superhero tales. Daredevil explored the pursuit of justice and what avenues an individual has when the judicial system breaks down. Jessica Jones examined the effects of an abusive relationship and the lingering effects of sexual trauma. Luke Cage was a clever examination of issues facing the black community, shown through the filter of hooded hero who is impervious to bullets and unfair prison sentences. While Iron Fist was about a whiny rich kid. Okay they couldn’t all be deep… With that in mind, it’s clear that The Punisher will not shy away from issues facing military veterans, including Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and returning to a world that no longer seems familiar after enduring overseas war.
This also looks to be the first Netflix/Marvel series to go no holds barred and fully embrace the opportunity to tell an unforgiving and violent tale. While the other shows were essentially hard-edged PG-13 viewing, it’s clear that this bloody tale would get a firm R-rating if the MPAA had jurisdiction over it. It’s possible that The Punisher has the opportunity to be the best show of the bunch, simply due to it’s unforgiving nature. There still isn’t an announced release date, but the show is coming with the next three months, so get ready. Enjoy the trailer.
After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld.
The first season of Marvel’s The Punisher will be available in its entirety on Netflix later this year.
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