Despite the recent back and forth about two houses divided under one roof, anything Marvel Studios does, on TV or at the movies, is sure to generate excitement. To wit, some casting news just hit the interwebs concerning the second season of the Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil, and some pretty major casting news at that. Interested in seeing the Man Without Fear in the same room with another marquee Marvel character? Well, in season two of the show, Daredevil will cross paths with Frank Castle, AKA: The Punisher, who will be brought to life by a fan who is no stranger to playing a dark and disturbed comic book character. Walking Dead fans: Jon Bernthal is you’re new Punisher!
Posted to the Marvel website, the studio announced that Castle (and Bernthal) will be coming in season two of the popular Netflix series to “clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results.” That should conveniently put if in a position to antagonize Hell’s Kitchen’s current, more non-lethal vigilante, Daredevil.
“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 in a press release. “Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”
The Punisher’s been portrayed on film three times before: Dolph Lundgren appeared as the driven vigilante in a long-forgotten 1989 film, a much more Hollywood effort has made in 2004 when Thomas Jane took up the role, and Ray Stevenson tried his hand in the much, much darker Punisher: War Zone in 2008.
Bernthal is best known for his two-year stint as a cast member on AMC’s The Walking Dead, but he’s also put in a number of memorable performances in films like The Wolf of Wall Street, The Ghost Writer and the World War II drama Fury, and he re-teamed with Walking Dead developer Frank Darabont on the limited series, Mob City. He’ll next appear in the critically-acclaimed crime drama Sicario co-starring Emily Blunt, Josh Brolin and Benicio del Toro.
Thoughts? On the one hand, Bernthal is a solid actor and he should undoubtedly be able to summon the requisite amount of menace and pathos in order to play Castle, but I do kind of regret the fact that Stevenson won’t be reprising the role. Looking at him in War Zone it’s hard not to believe that he’s the Punisher come to life directly from the comic book page, but since Stevenson now has a steady Marvel gig in Asgard, it’s probably hard for him to complain.
Considering the awesomeness of Daredevil’s treatment in season one, it should be very exciting to see what will happen when the Punisher joins the fun come season two. This casting also follows a rumor reported last week that Marvel was considering Punisher as one of a number of Marvel characters to get his or her own series in “Phase 2” of the studio’s TV plan. Perhaps there’s a spin-off in the future here…
As for the next season of Daredevil it will stream in its entirely sometime next year on Netflix.