Marvel’s Daredevil series won over critics and general audiences alike in its first season on Netflix, and now it’s adding some serious firepower to its second-season cast of characters in the form of Frank Castle, the gun-toting vigilante known as The Punisher.
The Walking Dead actor Jon Bernthal will play The Punisher in the next season of Daredevil, according to a casting announcement on Marvel.com. The role will likely cast him as both ally and foe to Matt “Daredevil” Murdock (Charlie Cox), with Frank Castle’s deadly method of dealing with criminals clashing with Daredevil’s non-lethal vigilantism.
“Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation, and vulnerability that will connect with audiences,” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television, in a statement accompanying the casting announcement. “Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”
Along with recent roles in The Wolf of Wall Street and the World War II drama Fury (see above photo), Bernthal played Shane Walsh throughout the first two seasons of the AMC series The Walking Dead, based on the popular, post-apocalyptic comic book series of the same name.
Created by writer Gerry Conway and artists John Romita and Ross Andru, The Punisher made his debut in a 1974 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. A military veteran and an expert in guerilla warfare techniques, Frank Castle began a one-man war on crime — particularly mafia families — after his family was killed in the crossfire of a shootout between rival mobsters.
The violent vigilante eventually became one of Marvel’s most popular characters, and clashed with Daredevil on several occasions throughout his fictional history. He first made the leap from page to screen in the 1989 film The Punisher, with Dolph Lundgren in the title role. Thomas Jane then took on the role in a 2004 film of the same name, which was followed by Punisher: War Zone in 2008 with Ray Stevenson playing Frank Castle.
Daredevil debuted on Netflix back in April to rave reviews, and eventually supplanted House of Cards as the streaming network’s top-rated original series. The series chronicles the adventures of attorney Matt Murdock, who was blinded as a young boy in a freak accident that took his sight but enhanced his other senses to superhuman levels. A lawyer by day, Murdock prowls the streets of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood by night as the masked vigilante.
The second season of Daredevil will debut on Netflix in 2016.