After a bit of misdirection, Netflix confirmed through social media on April 29 that The Punisher will be returning in his own Netflix series. Jon Bernthal will also be reprising the role from Daredevil season 2, according to a statement by Marvel.
The story was originally reported by Entertainment Weekly early that morning. The outlet confirmed a number of things ahead of the official word. This included the return of Bernthal and that Steve Lightfoot, who previously helmed shows such as NBC’s Hannibal, would be showrunner for the new series.
Only a half hour after the initial report, Netflix confirmed with a teaser trailer posted on Facebook and subsequently Twitter. While they did not shed much light on the content of the new series or any kind of arrival date, it set set a definite tone.
The Punisher is back. Locked and loaded.https://t.co/nGKCa2taEV
— Netflix US (@netflix) April 29, 2016
The teaser was simple. The melodic sound of a child singing and the sound of a gun loading and firing, with the Punisher’s signature skull logo appearing. Alongside this was Bernthal reciting his “One match, two match, penny and dime” mantra from the character’s previous appearance. This culminated in a shaky message stating the series would be “coming soon”.
“We want to thank fans who are clamoring for more of Jon’s stunning and powerful performance as Frank Castle,” said Head of Marvel Television Jeph Loeb in their statement. Other executives in the statement praised Bernthal’s performance as well. “[He] hooked our global audience with his performance as Frank Castle the moment he stepped on screen,” said Netflix’s VP of Original Content Cindy Holland. “we are looking forward to seeing more of him in this role under the vision of Steve Lightfoot.”
The rumors of such a series have been circling for some time. In January, TVLine stated Netflix was “close to pulling the trigger” on the series according to their sources. At the time, neither Netflix or Marvel was willing to comment on the subject.
In February, Jeph Loeb was interviewed about the subject by Digital Spy. “It’s certainly our hope that any of our characters will be embraced and that people want to see more of them,” Loeb said at the time. He dismissed any rumors of a Punisher series as speculation. The idea may not had been greenlit at the time, as the character wouldn’t debut until Daredevil season 2 released on March 2.
The Punisher marks the sixth series in the collaboration between Marvel and Netflix. This includes the already aired Daredevil and Jessica Jones as well as the currently in production series Luke Cage and Iron Fist. These four will culminate in the already announced series The Defenders. It is unknown at this time if the Punisher will appear in The Defenders.