With The Defenders on deck for its August 18th premiere, The Punisher waits loudly in the wings. Frank Castle made a huge impact in the second season of Daredevil, one that warranted Jon Bernthal getting his own spinoff in the Marvel and Netflix universe.
Though The Punisher knocked Matt Murdock off balance in season two, he found an unlikely ally in Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll). Despite Frank Castle’s heinous acts of violence and retribution, Karen defends his dignity and character as if he’s family. Of course, Matt Murdock’s new flame is no stranger to violence herself, having knocked off James Wesley (Toby Leonard Moore) with seven gunshots to the chest. Desperate times call for desperate measures, like Karen wiping her prints from the table, taking the murder weapon, and fleeing into the night.
When Screen Rant caught up with Deborah Ann Woll about her role in The Defenders and The Punisher, she revealed her anticipation for the Frank Castle spinoff. What’s more, she admitted that Karen and Frank are kindred spirits:
“I think if anything, it’s easier for Karen to sympathize with Frank than it is with Matt in some ways, because Karen in a lot of ways is more like Frank. You know, she killed the guy who kidnapped her and threatened all the people that she loved and didn’t really think twice about it – and then she covered it up, and didn’t tell anyone about it.”
Given Karen has just one kill to Frank’s hundreds, it’s clear her conscience weighs heavily on her character. Still, if Karen Page can relate to Frank Castle, that admission hints at the strength of their partnership in The Punisher. Plus, since Karen knows Matt Murdock is Daredevil, and she still feels more at home with Frank, then that could spell trouble for her love affair with the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen. Deborah Ann Woll further revealed that Karen feels more comfortable around The Punisher than her off-the-record boyfriend:
“I mean, Karen’s a vigilante more akin to Frank in many ways than to Matt, who has his religiousness and his righteousness that is sort of pulling him in many directions. I think in some ways, Karen can’t be really honest about who she is with Matt in a way that she can be with Frank.”
Woll has made it clear that while The Defenders will explore the fallout of Matt Murdock’s identity reveal, she points to the third season of Daredevil to reach an emotional understanding. Unfortunately for Murdock, Woll thinks Karen Page is already receiving that sort of recognition from the Punisher himself:
“Now, clearly, I think the relationship growth for Karen and Matt will be how can they really open up and show their true self to each other? And in a way, I think she’s already there with Frank.”
This newfound Frank Castle/Karen Page dynamic is exclusive to the Marvel and Netflix universe. While adapting the beloved comics characters, Woll insists The Punisher gives Frank and Karen a whole new creative license:
“I love, love, love working with Jon [Bernthal]. I think what we found with Frank and Karen is really unique, obviously has never been done in the comics, so it really belongs to us in the Netflix world.”
As fans seek answers to the cliffhanger ending of Daredevil season two, it’s clear there’s much more chaos to come before Karen Page and Matt Murdock see eye to eye.
The Defenders premieres on August 18 on Netflix, with The Punisher premiering later in 2017. Additional seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage are expected to air in 2018, with the new season of Iron Fist coming sometime in the future.