Marvel Mandated That No Defenders Could Appear in 'The Punisher'
Marvel's The Punisher hits Netflix this weekend, and as usual, fans are wondering about what kind [...]
Marvel's The Punisher hits Netflix this weekend, and as usual, fans are wondering about what kind of Marvel Cinematic Universe connections and/or cameos come with the show.
Well, there's one set of cameos fans shouldn't hold your breath for; actually, make that four cameos. According to a new report, Marvel Studios forbid The Punisher from featuring any of the four heroes from The Defenders (Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist).
In an interview with SyFy Wire, Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot recounted Marvel's surprising restrictions on bringing any of The Defenders into The Punisher:
"I think it's something that you need to talk to someone in Marvel about that because when I came in to take the show on, it was always very clear to me that they wanted it to sort of tell its own story and run on its own track and not really intersect with what was happening in The Defenders. That was part of the brief.
I guess I could speculate on the reasons for that, but I think from what I understand the original concept for the four characters that became The Defenders was always the plan and the Punisher spun out of that. But very much certainly when I came in the brief was always that it was to be its own show and its own thing separate from that."
Right now, its understandable why Marvel may want to keep The Punisher in its own lane. Aside from the usual desire to get a solo series standing on its on two feet (i.e., good ratings and reviews), there's the fact that The Defenders just set its characters down a path filled with ninjas, mysticism, and superpowers - all elements that don't play as well for The Punisher.
Narratively, it also makes sense: After Daredevil season 2 Frank Castle has been laying low, letting the world at large believe he's dead; since his only previous Defenders contact was with Daredevil (who is also now believed to be dead, though just injured), there's no reason for a private eye like Jessica Jones or fledgling heroes like Luke Cage and Iron Fist to go investigating The Punisher's actions - at least not until Frank Castle does something loud and punishing enough to get that sort of public scrutiny again.
Marvel's The Punisher Gallery Gallery
In the meantime, while The Defenders don't appear in The Punisher themselves, the seeds have been sewn for a future crossover, as Daredevil's love interest / confidant Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) gets closer to Frank during The Punisher season 1.
NEXT: The Punisher Official Review
The Punisher premieres on Netflix starting on November 17th.