Marvel fans have been anxiously awaiting more news about the confirmed Netflix original series The Punisher ever since the second season of Daredevil introduced the character of Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The spinoff TV series was ordered by Marvel back in April, with Jon Bernthal reprising the titular role and Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal) serving as showrunner and Executive Producer, while also writing the first two episodes of the series.
The Punisher Netflix series is now in production, withDeborah Ann Woll reprising her role as Karen Page from Daredevil and Ben Barnes, Amber Rose Revah and Ebon Moss-Bachrach confirmed as cast members. Marvel TV has now officially announced five more actors that will be appearing on The Punisher series, along with descriptions of their characters and hints about how they’ll play into the show's larger story.
Per the official announcement from Marvel, the new additions to The Punisher cast include:
- Daniel Webber (11.22.63) as Lewis Walcott, “a young veteran who has had a difficult time re-assimilating into Civilian Society.”
- Jason R. Moore (A Lonely Place for Dying) as Curtis Hoyle, “a friend of Frank Castle’s and one of the few people who knows he is alive.”
- Paul Schulze (Nurse Jackie) as Rawlins, “a high-ranking member of the CIA whose operations in Afghanistan intersect with Frank Castle.”
- Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel) as Sarah Lieberman, “Micro’s wife whose marriage has made her life far more complicated."
- Michael Nathanson (The Knick) as Sam Stein, “a Homeland agent who is challenged by his partnership with Dinah.”
Steve Lightfoot and fellow Executive Producer (and Marvel’s Head of Television) Jeph Loeb discussed the casting news in Marvel's official announcement:
Lightfoot: We couldn’t have asked for a more talented group of actors to round out the cast of Marvel’s The Punisher. It’s a thrill to watch them each bring their characters to life with such layered, nuanced performances.
Loeb: Marvel TV is very proud of the cast of The Punisher. Each actors brings a special promise who surround Jon Bernthal’s exceptional performance.
Fans of The Punisher comic books may be familiar with two of the characters described – namely Curtis Hoyle and Rawlins – the latter of whom is likely going to show us the journey taken by villainous William Rawlins; a corrupt Central Intelligence Agency officer who has in the past been embroiled in a major rivalry with Frank Castle. Walcott, Lieberman and Stein however seem to be new characters created just for the show, or could each be variations on established characters from the comics.
The level of talent now on board for The Punisher’s first season is becoming slightly overwhelming. Still, with so many great names jumping onboard for the show, the quality of acting should easily translate to viewers when the series eventually does hit the small screen.
With that being said, some are concerned that the series is being rushed because of the popularity of the Punisher character since his debut in Daredevil season 2. Bernthal certainly breathed new life into Castle after so many lacklustre adaptations, but whether or not his performance is enough to carry an entire series on his name alone remains to be seen.
Daredevil seasons 1 & 2, Jessica Jones season 1, and Luke Cage season 1 are available now on Netflix. Iron Fist season 1 arrives on March 17, 2017. The Defenders and The Punisher debut at some point in 2017. Release dates for Daredevil season 3 and Jessica Jones season 2 have not yet been revealed.