When Netflix and Marvel Studios confirmed they had cast Jon Bernthal to play the Punisher on the recent Daredevil series, fans were very pleased. The rough actor had become a familiar face to fans thanks to his stint on The Walking Dead, and Bernthal encapsulated Frank Castle with his hardened jaw and pointed looks. Season 2 of Daredevil shaped the Punisher as a lethal terrorist who would do whatever it takes to avenge his murdered family. Now, Bernthal is getting candid about his work as the Punisher, and the actor is saying he absolutely respects the baddie.
"I’m working on The Punisher now. You know, this whole superhero-comic-book thing is something I had zero interest in being a part of. The guys that I really, really respect as actors seem to have kind of purposely stayed away from that. I don’t mean that I’m above that or anything, just that it was not for me. But then when I got to know a little bit about this character…” Bernthal started.
“He ain’t got a f**king cape. He ain’t got any superpowers. He’s a king tortured, angry father and husband who’s living in this unbelievable world of darkness and loss and torment. Frank Castle resonates with me.”
The actor also went on to praise the fervent comic book fandom which surrounds the Marvel Cinematic Universe. “Comic-book fans are the greatest fans on earth. It’s not like their insane fervor isn’t based on anything. This is a super-intelligent fan base, because reading a comic book requires you to do a lot of work. You’ve got to fill in all these f**king gaps. I’m respectful of that. These characters exist in their minds and hearts."
This is not the first time Bernthal has gotten candid about what attracts him to the Punisher. Earlier this year, the actor spoke with ComicBook.com about the role and he was well-aware of how much fans resonate with the character.
“I get how much this guy means to so many people. I think that, when you look at a comic book, and the medium of comic books, not to be on my high horse, to read a comic book, it requires so much imagination. It requires the audience to use that imagination. The Punisher’s been around since the 70s. I think anytime the audience puts so much of their own imagination into it, this character really belongs to the audience, really belongs to the fans. I get that, and I respect that,” he said.
“I know how important he is to so many people – I’ve said before that I know how important this character is to people in law enforcement and the military,” he continued. “That’s something that means an enormous amount to me. Guys putting the Punisher insignia on their body armor and their equipment as they’ve gone into battle and fight for this country, that’s something I take very seriously.”
In October, production on The Punisher finally kicked off. Bernthal recently said that Frank Castle will be “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.”
Netflix has set Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal) as showrunner on The Punisher. Jim Chory and Marvel’s Jeph Loeb (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage) as executive producers.
Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 are all available on Netflix. Iron Fist will premiere on March 17, 2017. The Defenders expected later in the year. The Punisher will also air sometime in 2017.