During New York Comic-Con 2016, Marvel held a headlining panel for its Netflix series, bringing Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist onstage together in order to promote the Defenders miniseries event. However, during that panel, fans also got a visit from another player in the Netflix MCU: Jon Bernthal's Punisher.
The Punisher Netflix series is currently filming in New York, and we learned that Daredevil's Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) will be a series regular, and in a later interview during the convention, Bernthal went on to speak about some of the inspirations for his version of Frank Castle.
Aside from the usual comic book sources, Bernthal name-dropped a particular fan-favorite project while onstage for a panel at NYCC (via Screen Geek):
"I watch everything. I read everything. Anything you can get your hands on. I love "Dirty Laundry." You see that one? Once you devour and eat up and much as you can, my way is to make it as personal as possible. It was a great pleasure to watch all of those."
The "Dirty Laundry" short film was one of the biggest launchpads for producer Adi Shankar's "Bootleg Universe" of high-quality fan-film projects. It brought back 2004 Punisther movie star Thomas Jane as Frank Castle, which gave fans a major thrill - especially since Jane was free to get darker and more violent with the character. The result was a short that outclassed not one but two film attempts in the 2000s - and is definitely a great source for Bernthal to have looked at.
The MCU version of Frank Castle/The Punisher was pretty well received by fans during Daredevil season 2. Bernthal is probably the darkest and most violent version of the character yet (see: that prison sequence), and the dramatic aspect of his performance had just as much impact as the physical part. So even though he may have started at Dirty Laundry, Bernthal's Punisher has gone so much further than that, definitely earning his chance to carry an entire Netflix series.
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 does not have a release date yet.