The now-shooting second season of The Punisher is on target to top its freshman season, Marvel Entertainment Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada told ComicBook.com.
“Last year, this time, I was going around telling people like you [Punisher is] the best show we may have done,” Quesada told us during San Diego Comic-Con. “I think there were three fans on the floor, they were like, ‘Come on, man.’ I’m like, ‘If you don’t think it’s the best show that we’ve done and if [Jon] Bernthal is not Frank Castle, I will pay your Netflix subscription for a year.’ Never collected. Thank God.”
Asked what from the upcoming sophomore season has him most excited, Quesada said “the villain.”
“It is just crazy stuff. Crazy stuff. It’s going to be exactly what fans want,” Quesada teased. “And Bernthal, Bernthal is Bernthal, man. He’s a force of nature, the dude.”
In May, footage from the set showed Bernthal’s heavily-armed vigilante trading shots with Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), who will emerge as iconic Punisher arch foe Jigsaw.
Franchise newcomers Floriana Lima (Lethal Weapon), Corben Bernsen (Psych), Annette O’Toole (Halt and Catch Fire), and Georgia Whigham (13 Reasons Why) board the series in season 2.
Asked if reception to the first season will influence the second — The Punisher wields a 93% “liked it” audience score on Rotten Tomatoes — showrunner Steve Lightfoot said staying true to characters like the battle-weary Frank Castle supersedes imposed expectations.
“That’s always tricky because you get such a variation, some people love it, some people hate it, some people are in the middle,” Lightfoot told Collider.3comments
“My personal opinion with that stuff is you just have to be true to the character and the story you choose to tell. You want them to love it obviously, but if you start worrying about the audience, it can be a trap. I think we just have to keep trying to be true to Frank’s character and make him someone people want to hang out with.”
Marvel-Netflix have yet to declare a release date for The Punisher season 2. All episodes of its first season are available for streaming on Netflix.