The door is wide open for Jon Bernthal to join the MCU as Punisher, after the newly named Defenders Saga left Netflix for Disney Plus.
However, does Bernthal want to come back for more Punisher? The answer is yes – but there are conditions. Here’s what the actor has said of a potential return before.
“That character, in particular, has real, real, real deep, deep meaning for me and resonance in me. He’s really in my heart, man. He’s really in my bones. I’m enormously protective of that character,” Berthnal told The Hollywood Reporter (opens in new tab) back in December 2021, going on to discuss the “darkness” and “rage” of the character after he lost his family.
“So I was really grateful, respectful and wary of the places where that role took me and the world in which I had to live in,” he continued. “That being said, that’s where that character needs to be. It needs to be a level of darkness. I think if there’s any let up on that character, you do a disservice to the character, to every iteration of the character, to every comic book that’s come before, and to all of the unbelievable fans of the character. This character means so much to people in the military. So like I said before, it’s not about whether you do the character; it’s about whether you can do it right, and I’m only interested in doing it right.”
That’s not a no – but also isn’t quite a yes. Seeing Bernthal as the Punisher in the MCU would have seemed a pipe dream not long ago, but Daredevil star Charlie Cox recently reprised his role in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and Vincent D’Onofrio once again played Kingpin in Hawkeye on Disney Plus. So, it’s entirely possible Berthnal could play Frank Castle again.
“They’re trying their best to keep Daredevil as part of the canon. Hawkeye is part of the canon of what we did at Daredevil,” D’Onofrio told GamesRadar+ of his return to Kingpin, adding: “I’m approaching it as if it’s after the Blip, everybody’s returned, and it’s the same emotionally and character-wise. I play him exactly the way he was in Daredevil.”
To get up to speed on the story of the Netflix shows, here’s how to watch the Defenders Saga in order.