Netflix’s The Punisher spinoff series didn’t originally include Karen Page, but showrunner Steve Lightfoot asked Marvel to write her into the show. The New York City-based corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe launched with season 1 of Daredevil in 2015, and the series is the only one of Netflix’s Marvel shows to have received a second season so far – though second seasons of Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist are all in various stages of production. For its part, Daredevil season 2 introduced two key players to the street-level corner of the MCU: Frank Castle aka The Punisher (Jon Bernthal) and Elektra (Élodie Yung).
Elektra played a key role in the first season of The Defenders – the team-up mini-series in which Matt Murdock aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox), Jessica Jones (Krysten Ritter), Luke Cage (Mike Colter), and Danny Rand aka Iron Fist (Finn Jones) joined forces – but Frank Castle will lead his own Netflix series when The Punisher debuts next month. Shortly after The Punisher began filming in the fall of last year, it was confirmed Daredevil’s Deborah Ann Woll will appear as Karen Page. But, according to showrunner Steve Lightfoot, it wasn’t always the plan to have her character crossover with the spinoff.
As reported by Mashable, Lightfoot revealed Karen Page wasn’t initially planned to appear in The Punisher series, but he asked to be able to write her into the spinoff because of Karen and Frank’s chemistry in Daredevil season 2. Lightfoot said, “I asked to have her, because she and Frank [Castle] are so great.” Lightfoot went on to discuss what he appreciates about their dynamic, saying, “Frank is a closed-off military guy, and this is a woman he treats like an equal more than anyone else.”
Of course, Karen Page was instrumental to Frank Castle’s storyline in Daredevil season 2, as she conducted a great deal of research into his past after discovering him as the man behind The Punisher moniker. The two became close friends and allies, with Karen insisting Nelson and Murdock represent Frank in his trial. Out of all the characters on Daredevil, Frank is closest to Karen, so it makes sense for her to be included in The Punisher standalone series. Additionally, given how much Frank grew to trust Karen, it’s understandable that Lightfoot would want to continue their dynamic in The Punisher show.
That said, it’s unclear just how much Karen will appear in The Punisher. Woll has already been included in some photos from The Punisher season 1, alongside other characters set to appear in the Netflix series. Much of the cast of The Punisher is new, including Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, and Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, among others. Still, despite all the new characters set to join Netflix’s Marvel spinoff series, Karen Page will crossover from Daredevil and interact with Frank Castle so fans will get to see them interact once again. And, with just a few weeks left until the show premieres, fans will get to catch up with both Karen and Frank on The Punisher once it debuts next month.
The Punisher season 1 premieres Friday, November 17 on Netflix. Premiere dates for the new seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist have yet to be announced.
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