Frank Castle is haunted by his past in a brand new motion poster for the forthcoming Netflix series The Punisher. Jon Bernthal received raves for his turn as Frank Castle in season two of Daredevil, but the actor insisted the character hasn’t fully evolved in The Punisher yet. Bernthal is the fourth actor to take on the character in live-action, following the three previous movie versions.
While each movie had its own strengths, they all failed to launch a movie series. 1989’s The Punisher starred Dolph Lundgren as the titular vigilante, but the film’s low budget and weak script saw it go straight to VHS in America. Tom Jane fronted 2004’s The Punisher, and while it was the most successful attempt financially, fans disliked the campy humor and changes to the character’s backstory. Finally, Punisher: War Zone has since become a well-liked cult movie due to its outrageous gore and dark humor, but it utterly bombed on release and remains the lowest grossing Marvel movie to date.
Fans have eagerly awaited The Punisher solo series since Daredevil’s second season, and a new motion poster has arrived on Twitter to tease it out even more. The show will find Castle uncover a conspiracy revolving around the murder of his family, and he’ll team up with hacker Dave Lieberman – AKA Micro – to take down those responsible. Ben Barnes will also play Billy Russo, who in the comic is a handsome gangster left badly scarred by Castle, transforming him into recurring villain Jigsaw; in the show, Russo will instead be Castle’s best friend who heads a private military firm.
Netflix has really been ramping up promotion for The Punisher recently, from debuting the first trailer and various other promos. Just yesterday there was a fun little Twitter spat between The Punisher and The Walking Dead, where the latter’s official account cracked a joke about Shane – played on The Walking Dead by Bernthal in the past – was really baby Judith’s father.
Despite the high level of anticipation for the show, a key feature of its marketing campaign has been withholding the actual release date. The recent wave of trailers and adverts indicates it will arrive sometime soon, but the date itself is always blacked out or obscured on promo material. While this runs the risk of annoying the fanbase, it appears to be an effective strategy so far; awareness of the show is running high, and the mystery surrounding The Punisher’s release date is only fuelling the conversation about it.
The Punisher premieres sometime later this year. Premiere dates for the new seasons of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist have yet to be announced.
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