The Punisher actor Ben Barnes has shared the first ever deleted scene from one of Marvel's Netflix shows. The Marvel Netflix series were a tremendous success - right up until the moment they weren't, and the partnership between Marvel Television and Netflix fell through.
It was a massive blow to Marvel Television, particularly because they weren't yet ready to announce future shows on Hulu and Disney+. As a result, it meant Marvel lost some of their most popular small-screen stars in quick succession, including the likes of Charlie Cox's Daredevil, Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones, and of course Jon Bernthal's Punisher. In fact, Marvel TV was blindsided by the cancellations.
Now, actor Ben Barnes - who played the villainous Billy Russo/Jigsaw in The Punisher - has revealed the first ever deleted scene from any Marvel Netflix show. It's from The Punisher season 1, and it's a flashback to when Russo and Frank Castle were working together in the army. They've gotten into a brawl outside a pub; the scene is in slow-motion, and it doesn't yet feature any of the telltale blood and gore.
The scene presumably developed the sense of camaraderie between Castle and Russo, and showed just how competent a team they were back when they served together. It's safe to assume that this scene was deemed superfluous, given there were enough flashbacks stressing that point anyway.
But Barnes' video is most notable because it's the first time fans have been given any Marvel Netflix deleted scenes at all. Netflix doesn't tend to release those, and even Marvel's delayed DVD releases have been bereft of special features. Meanwhile, Marvel Netflix became synonymous with pacing problems, and as a result many had speculated that they just didn't cut things during editing. Clearly that wasn't the case, at least by the time of The Punisher season 1, which came out in 2017.
While there probably won't be many deleted scenes, hopefully this is just the first of a handful. It would be exciting to see just what other sequences were cut from the various Marvel Netflix shows, and to work out what they would have added to their stories. Series like Jessica Jones were much more character-focused, so any deleted scenes could be quite informative, perhaps even hinting at a different creative direction. What's more, it's interesting that this footage was distributed by Barnes rather than by Marvel Television, raising the possibility that other Marvel actors have similar clips that they could share as well. Given that the Marvel Netflix series are sadly no longer running, it would be a nice way of offering a tribute.
Source: Ben Barnes/Twitter