Jon Bernthal wants to capture the true essence of Frank Castle in his solo TV show, The Punisher. The upcoming Marvel series releases later this year, and fans are excited to see what's in store for Bernthal's character, the Punisher, who was first introduced in the second season of Daredevil last year. The actor's performance and character's story arc both resonated so much with audiences that fans had launched petitions to have Netflix give the character his own series -- and those petitions worked.
The Punisher aims to release this fall, with the character taking his fight with Hell's Kitchen and its criminal underworld to the next level. However, Bernthal doesn't want people to lose sight of who the character is by doing so. In Daredevil, Castle was portrayed as more of an anti-hero and someone who was coping with the loss of his family; that's something that the actor wants to continue to represent in his solo series, making sure people don't view the Punisher as being too heroic.
In an interview with Moviefone discussing his latest film, Pilgrimage, Bernthal briefly addressed how they're maintaining the Punisher's core essence as an anti-hero despite him headlining his own solo series, and potentially having audiences expecting him to become more heroic, as say someone like Daredevil.
“It’s an interesting predicament. To put [the Punisher] as the central character is interesting; I think that my big struggle with him is that one of my biggest kind of things that I’m always fighting for on set is, I always want to preserve the essence of Frank, and have the right and be bold enough to really turn my back on the audience, and not do things to win the audience’s favor, but rather stay true to the character and the essence of who he is. So, I think that’s the real challenge: being bold enough to not make him too heroic, at least ‘heroic,’ is important to me. That being said, I think there’s Frank Castle inside of everybody, I think being a father and being a husband, he’s a character that I deeply empathize with.”
Bernthal's comments mimic his past statements about the character and the show in general. He recently said that he feels a responsibility for portraying the character as accurately as possible since he will not only be bringing the comic book character to life on the small screen but representing military and law enforcement officers as well (since Castle himself is a former Marine). Still, no matter how many criminals he defeats, there's no denying that Castle is one of the deadliest people in both the Marvel Universe and Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The upcoming TV series will certainly be different than Netflix's other superhero shows, and the main reason for that is because Frank Castle isn't necessarily a superhero; he's an anti-hero who wants to rid the world of criminals by any means necessary. It's just that, most of the time, that includes brutally killing them -- and that's not something that jives well with New York's other vigilantes, and that's also why the Punisher won't ever work alongside the Defenders.
The Punisher season 1 premieres on Netflix this fall.