'The Punisher' Showrunner On Major Jigsaw Change
The second season of The Punisher saw the return of Billy Russo (Ben Barnes) after a massive fight at the tail-end of the first season. As seen in the trailer and promotional marketing leading up to the show, Russo's didn't entirely look identical comic book counterpart and fans were quick to point that out.
Speaking with ComicBook.com, The Punisher boss Steve Lightfoot made sure to point out that it was always their plan to make Russo's injuries mental over physical — and, quite frankly, he has a good reason as to why.
WARNING: Minor spoilers lie ahead. If you have yet to watch The Punisher Season Two, proceed caution. That is, of course, unless you don't care about being spoiled.
By now, it's no secret that Russo doesn't have any major facial disfigurements in The Punisher Season Two. A good chunk of the season, in fact, shows Russo dealing with a traumatic brain injury with his therapist even being sure to compare his frazzled mind to a jigsaw puzzle.
"I know lots of people online have been unhappy about how relatively unscathed he was, for me, I mean, it's just a variety of things, you know," Lightfoot says of the change. "One thing, I think that's works so well with the Netflix shows and certainly we tried to do, is while the action and in way the stories are very heightened in comic book, I think the sort of defining features of all these shows has been, in terms of character, they've been very truthful and sort of emotionally honest and grounded, I think."
"So, I wanted to sort of cary that into the injuries, and, the truth is, for every injury he received at the end of season one of the show he has a scar," the producer continues. "Given the wonders of modern medicine, he pretty much looks like he would have if he'd gone into surgery."
Lightfoot went on to detail how he and the writer's room dove in researching how people with traumatic brain injuries recover from injuries similar to that Russo suffered.
"I was far more interested by the damage on the inside and I think that's something that can serve a season, and we did a lot of research into the effects of traumatic brain injury, both physically and mentally, and people's personalities get completely changed," reflects Lightfoot. "And people have to fight back to find a version of themselves, I was much more interested in watching a character do that than purely something cosmetic, if you like."
"What it allowed us, which I enjoyed as a sort of ironic narrative, was that Billy got to be who Frank was in season one, he thought he was the guy who had been betrayed by a brother, and, in a way, we sort of flip the script on the two guys," the writer recounts. "Billy thought he was the victim, and I just thought there's a lot of fun to that. It just gave Ben a lot more to play, I think, than just a messed up face.:
What'd you think of the change to Billy Russo? Were you a fan of how Barnes played the role in the second season? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or join the conversation online by hitting me (@AdamBarnhardt) up on Twitter to talk all things MCU!
The second season of The Punisher is now streaming on Netflix.0comments