Netflix‘s second season of Daredevil was fantastic in so many ways. Jon Bernthal knocked it so far out of the park when it came to Frank Castle and the Punisher that Marvel and Netflix decided to spinoff the character into his own Netflix Punisher series. Bernthal recently talked about the character and what we might expect to see in the series and had some interesting and poignant things to say about Frank Castle and the Punisher.
While discussing the new series with ADTV, Bernthal had this to say:
The Frank Castle you find in this story is not The Punisher. He’s reeling from the loss of his family. He’s driven by rage and is on a singular mission to find these people who took his family from him, and do it as brutally as possible. I also believe the way in which he fights tells you volumes about the character. There’s a story with each and every punch, and they allow us to approach it like that.
A big part of this guy is a guy searching for himself. He’s got pain, regret and remorse. There’s the graveyard scene where he opens up. He delivers this scene where he explains what it’s like to come home and see his daughter. It was such a gift from John C. Kelley. I had been away from my kids for three months, and I was at the crux of my own torture, going through that.
I really tried to drive into what this guy was going through. Not only was it beautifully written. What it allowed was a man who doesn’t open up much, doesn’t share, who has been alone, and this circumstance found him where he didn’t think he’d be able to get up from that gravestone. He has this opportunity to open up. Those moments and that speech gave me the ammunition to go as far as I wanted the other way. You could be as brutal as possible, as depraved, as tortured as possible because at that moment, the audience got to see what was going on in that man’s heart, and he’s unbelievably human. He’s in an unbelievably amount of pain. That speech was the anchor of the season for me.
When we left Frank Castle aka the Punisher at the end of Daredevil season two, he’s not really worked through all that pain yet and he’s got to decide what to do with the rest of his life. His mission to kill those that killed his family is done and it makes sense that the first season of The Punisher would explore what he does next and how he deals with what he’s already done.
Bernthal has a nice handle of the character of Frank Castle and it will be interesting to see him develop into the Punisher we know today. Production should begin early next year, script writing and series plotting is already under way. Will there be any crossover from the Daredevil series? There should be some and Bernthal perhaps hints a bit when he answers this last question from the interview.
Does anything surprise you about the Frank character at all?
I think the relationship with Karen surprised me the most. It was a rare thing that can happen when you have a real collaboration between writers and actors. These writers and producers watch the dailies, they see things that were happening. You might not be able to put words to it, and they develop that. In the same way that there’s this connection between Frank and Karen and we never explain exactly what it is. I felt what it became was that I thought he looked at her as, this is the kind of woman his daughter could have become, bold and intelligent, and courageous, independent, bold and caring. I think he saw his daughter in her. I think as a man that swore off caring about anything besides his mission and completing it, I think he started to care about her, her well-being, and her opinion.
It would make sense for Karen to have some involvement in The Punisher, at least as a phone call or someone Frank Castle and talk to when he is struggling with something.
You can check out Bernthal’s impressive performance as Frank Castle in Marvel’s Daredevil season 2 on Netflix.