After a series of delays, Marvel's The Punisher has finally landed on Netflix to varied reactions. The series followed Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) and his quest for justice, no matter who stood in his way or who had to pay the ultimate price. With some fans having devoted their day to consuming Marvel's latest Netflix series, Punisher's showrunner Steve Lightfoot revealed what the ending of the season means for the anti-hero.
***WARNING: Spoilers below for Marvel's The Punisher***
Marvel's Netflix series have seen more gruesome violence than anything seen in their movies or ABC series, with The Punisher taking that violence to a whole new level. After Castle's final bullets were fired, the season ended with the former soldier giving a speech to a veteran's group about his fears of facing who he really is now that there's no longer a war to fight.
"Jon and I spoke a lot, and the nature of the speech came out of conversations we had been doing about veterans and how they felt and how they worked," Lightfoot explained to Entertainment Weekly. "After the premiere, one of the veterans we used as an extra — a lot of extras in that veterans group were actual veterans — and he came up and was incredibly happy with that ending. He said, 'You know, that’s absolutely how it is.'”
Castle has always been a complicated character in the Marvel universe, with the Netflix series delving further into the psychological trauma he copes with.
"If Frank just went on a journey across the show and didn’t learn anything and didn’t come to terms with his own nature somehow, then there was no redeeming quality to the story," Lightfoot confessed. "I think he had to learn something about himself and not just finish off the bad guys; he has to change. The truth is, in the event of a Season 2, which I desperately want to do, we will very quickly find him a new war to fight, you know? [Laughs] His nature will kick back in."
"I think having him admit that it’s harder to deal with the peace than to just find something to fight is important," the showrunner pointed out. "Realizing something about yourself doesn’t mean that you will act on it. It was important that he went on a journey, not just in terms of the plot but also emotionally. There were other scenes that could have come after [that last one], but I just felt in the end, especially with the way that Jon delivered it, I just thought, 'I just want to end on this guy.'”
Whether or not this means Castle is truly ready to leave the Punisher identity behind is still a mystery for the series.
"There’s a lot of conflict in Frank. There’s the guy he would like to be and the guy whose nature and all of his experiences made him [into]," Lightfoot shared. "The thing in the end that makes us empathize with him is that he knows that what he does isn’t always good. He’s not unaware of his own faults."
He added, "And so I think the interesting thing for me is, just because he’s recognized something about his nature doesn’t mean he’s not going to succumb to it pretty quickly. I think a part of it is he just loves the excuse to get it on. It’s where he feels most comfortable."
Marvel's The Punisher is currently available on Netflix.
[H/T Entertainment Weekly]