Commenting at San Diego Comic-Con on his upcoming Netflix superhero spinoff series, The Punisher actor Jon Bernthal teased a vital component to his standalone story.
As the fourth actor to play Frank Castle in live-action film and television, Bernthal burst onto the scene as the unequivocally best performance and adaptation of the character in season 2 of Daredevil. With the Devil of Hell's Kitchen teaming up with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist in the upcoming Defenders crossover series, Bernthal will get the spotlight in his own series sometime late this year (rumored to be November). This version of Frank Castle, more so than a lot of the other characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, is very much grounded in real world history, a rugged veteran Scout Sniper who fought overseas during the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan during the 2000s.
In an interview with EW promoting the series at San Diego Comic-Con ahead of its panel and likely reveal of footage, Bernthal hints that the series will lean heavily on that real world historical aspect of The Punisher's past. The creators are looking to tap into what makes the character unique, and Frank Castle's status as a fighter and a military man helps differentiate him from even who he was in Daredevil:
“I think with Frank and with the world that he’s very much involved in, he’s a soldier, so I think there will be very much a military component of the show. It will be somewhat centered on that… I think that [the] Frank Castle that was in Daredevil is not in Punisher.”
The end of season 2 of Daredevil saw Castle go from the blind superhero's foe with differing opinions on justice to a reluctant ally, heading off on his own journey after the finale. Castle's idea of justice has always been informed by the horrors and pain he had both inflicted and received in his time overseas, so leaning on that element in his standalone series seems like a reasonable move. It'll help to have characters like Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll) around to once again question the morality of his actions.
There's no word on how Castle's military background will play into the narrative of the first season of The Punisher. We have yet to see footage from the show other than a brief tease at the end of a new Defenders trailer with Bernthal in full skull-based costuming. The panel for The Defenders today will most likely feature footage from The Punisher and an official release date for the show. We'll see if the military components that Bernthal describes comes through in the first-look footage.
The Punisher season 1 arrives on Netflix sometime this fall.