Back in January, it was rumored that Netflix was considering a spinoff series from Daredevil starring Jon Bernthal’s gun-toting vigilante Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. Marvel Television’s Jeph Loeb initially dismissed the report as something being discussed internally, but now those discussions no longer appear to be hypothetical.
Fans can stop holding their breath: Jon Bernthal’s Punisher is indeed getting his own series at Netflix.
Entertainment Weekly reports that Netflix has ordered a Punisher series from Marvel featuring former The Walking Dead actor Bernthal as Frank Castle, reprising his role from the critically acclaimed second season of Daredevil.
Along with getting the official green light from Netflix, the series reportedly nabbed a well-regarded showrunner to shepherd The Punisher’s solo adventures. Hannibal writer and executive producer Steve Lightfoot will serve as the series’ executive producer, with an official announcement of the project — and Lightfoot’s role in it — expected this weekend.
The report was accompanied by the first teaser image for the Punisher series: A simple picture of the character’s skull logo on a black background.
The Punisher series will be the sixth project to come out of the collaboration between Marvel Television and Netflix, with Daredevil and Jessica Jones already on the receiving end of rave reviews from critics and audiences alike, and Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the crossover miniseries The Defenders still on the way. There’s no word on when this latest addition will be inserted into the production timeline, but it’s expected that Bernthal’s Frank Castle will make an appearance or two in some of the aforementioned shows before the cameras begin rolling on his solo series.
Widely praised as one of the standout performances in the second season of Daredevil, Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle — a former soldier who embarks on a one-man war against crime after his family is killed by criminals — has quickly shaped up to be the defining live-action depiction of the Marvel Comics character.
After making his debut in a 1974 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, The Punisher went on to become a fan-favorite character and the star of multiple comic book series in the late ’80s and throughout the ’90s. He was first brought to the big screen in 1989’s The Punisher, with Dolph Lundgren playing Frank Castle, then again in 2004’s The Punisher with Thomas Jane in the title role, and most recently in 2008’s Punisher: War Zone with Ray Stevenson playing the character. All three of the films underperformed both critically and commercially in theaters.
There’s no word on when the Punisher series will begin production or premiere on Netflix at this point.