The week started with Jon Bernthal‘s post that looked like a goodbye letter to the fans and everyone involved in the show.
Since 2016 that Jon Bernthal portrays Frank Castle, the Punisher and the character apeared on screen after the last movie in 2008 featuring Ray Stevenson as Frank Castle the Punisher in Punisher War Zone.
Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of the character wasn’t the most unanimous between Punisher fans. And those who were against it was people who wanted a very close approach to the Punisher MAX, when Frank is a man whose “dead inside” and the only thing that fuels him is his mission… killing criminals (which is accurate to the character).
That format won’t work for the bigger screen. Portraying the Punisher as a one dimensional character would probably be enough for us, but not enough to capture a “wider” audience. And let’s face it, studios can’t make a TV series or a film just to please Punisher fans.
And here comes Netflix Punisher. A portrayal that mixed a lot of source material, especially from old Punisher comics and a more humanized portrayal of the character. It gave us a more realistic and modern take on the character.
What will happen next? Well, no one knows. A Punisher TV series graded as TV-MA won’t be streaming on Disney+, that’s almost certain, but Hulu has mentioned that it would be interesting to have in his own streaming service some cancelled Marvel/Netflix shows. Even this letter to the fans of Jeph Loeb might mean there is some hope for these shows in the future.
To be honest, I don’t believe we will see the same cast. A new possible Punisher series will definitely have a new cast. On the other hand, I think this might’ve opened a new window of opportunity for a possible Punisher film. Yes, we are living in an era when movies like John Wick are very well accepted by viewers, and who’s better to portray the most ruthless vigilante than the Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? There is a lot of source material to make a good film to be faithful to the comics and even to give some more realistic elements to the character like Jon Bernthal did with the character.
If you consider yourself a fan and while you wait for new Punisher live action news, (which might take months/years) why don’t you try to read some comics? There is a lot of good stuff coming out every month and the Punisher doesn’t need a big investment. He isn’t a character with tons of titles or appearances in other books.
Here are some recommendations you can easily find online or in your LCS.
The Punisher (2018) by Matthew Rosenberg and Szymon Kudranski ( it’s the current run);
The Punisher (2011) by Greg Rucka & Marco Chechetto 1-16 + War Zone 1-5;
Punisher: Year One
Punisher War Journal by Carl Potts and Jim Lee;
Punisher: Suicide Run;
Punisher Epic Collection: Capital Punishment;
Punisher Epic Collection: Circle of Blood;
Punisher Epic Collection: Kingpin Rules;
The Punisher MAX saga by Garth Ennis ( All of it!);
The Punisher: Platoon;
Marvel Knights Punisher Omnibus by Ennis or buy the Complete Volumes 1, 2 and 3.
You got pretty good comics in here, it will be enough for a good time to read it all. If you are a new fan who began to be interested in the character start with Year One, War Journal and those Epic Collection books.