Jon Bernthal has successfully parlayed his memorable turn as Frank Castle/The Punisher on Netflix's acclaimed Daredevil series into a starring role in the streaming network's spinoff The Punisher. Bernthal took Daredevil to uncommonly dark places with his character, and that tone is expected to continue in the spinoff.
Although The Punisher is usually dealing his own brand of justice to evildoers, the photos to emerge from the set of Netflix's The Punisher series so far reveal a down-and-out Frank Castle who appears to take some, well, punishment of his own. A new batch of set photos has emerged that continue to tell the same story about Frank Castle's early struggles as he transforms into the title character.
Getty Images has a fresh group of photos from The Punisher set in New York City on Friday, showing Bernthal shooting his scenes as Frank Castle. He doesn't quite look down-and-out in these photos, but his bruised face shows that the character had recently taken a beating. Previous set photos from February show Bernthal wearing the same outfit, but without the battered and bruised face. Bernthal is also seen as Frank Castle stealing a police car in recent looks from the set.
Bernthal has switched up his look at times while shooting his scenes for the first season of The Punisher. Previous set photos showed him sporting a buzzcut and bushy beard. Others confirmed the presence of co-star Michael Nathanson, who is set to play Dinah Madani's partner Sam Stein in the series.
No matter how Castle's character development unfolds in the first season of the series, it's ostensibly clear that he's not truly The Punisher yet. He's set to face some formidable obstacles in his early forays into vigilantism, even if Kingpin isn't one of them. But Bernthal has a good chance of transferring his magnetic performance as Frank Castle into a strong leading role. The actor has described The Punisher as a character that resonates with him, so it will be intriguing to see what he brings to the character with Castle/The Punisher front and center.
Unfortunately, Netflix's hot streak with Marvel series ran out with the critically panned Iron Fist. Now, it's far from a guarantee that The Punisher will live up to the standard set by Daredevil, Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage. But if Bernthal's performance as Castle in his own starring vehicle is anywhere near as compelling as it is on Daredevil, then Netflix may have yet another Marvel-based success on its hands.
The Defenders will arrive sometime in the summer, with The Punisher coming later this year, Daredevil seasons 1 and 2, Jessica Jones season 1, Luke Cage season 1, and Iron Fist season 1 are now available on Netflix. Premiere dates for the newest seasons of Jessica Jones, Daredevil, and Luke Cage have not yet been revealed.