Jon Bernthal Returning as The Punisher in Daredevil: Born Again: Report
Jon Bernthal is returning as The Punisher in Daredevil: Born Again. As per The Hollywood Reporter, The Walking Dead actor is set to reprise his role as the antihero Frank Castle in the upcoming Disney+ series — for the first time since Netflix’s Punisher wrapped in 2019. The last we heard of Bernthal suiting up as The Punisher was in August 2022 when actress Rosario Dawson — whose character was introduced in Netflix’s Daredevil — let slip that information, only to retract it later. Daredevil: Born Again is part of Phase Five of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is slated to release in early 2024.
The report notes that Bernthal will reunite with actors Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio in the series, after having previously collaborated with them in Netflix’s interconnected Marvel series run. Filming begins in New York City later this month, with the series being poised as a longer epic than other Marvel Studios productions such as She-Hulk: Attorney at Law (9 episodes) and Moon Knight (6 episodes). Daredevil: Born Again is planned as an 18-episode-long affair, co-written and executive produced by Matt Corman and Chris Ord. The series itself is a soft reboot, of sorts, based on the eponymous 1986 comic book run — written by Frank Miller — which details the masked vigilante’s descent into insanity at the Kingpin’s hands, as he struggles to build a new life for himself.
The Disney+ series, however, is poised to deviate from that plot to an unspecified degree. The Punisher, for instance, never appeared in that story, while Matt Murdock/ Daredevil continued his paranoia-driven fight against the Kingpin. Bernthal’s The Punisher first appeared in Netflix’s Daredevil season 2, where he waged a one-man war against crime, eventually crossing paths with Cox’s Daredevil and tying him up to prove that lethal forces are the most viable method to eradicate crime. His arc eventually branched into a standalone The Punisher series, which ran for two seasons, before Netflix cancelled the show in 2019. Netflix soon lost its license for Marvel content in 2022, which led to shows such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the aforementioned The Punisher, moving to Disney+ Hotstar.
That said, other supporting characters from the Netflix-Marvel run such as Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page and Elden Hensen’s Foggy Nelson are reportedly not part of the cast lineup for Daredevil: Born Again. Cox was reinstated into Kevin Feige’s MCU in 2021, making a cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home, after which he made a brief appearance in the final two episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. In the latter, he was seen sporting a yellow-and-red suit, inspired by the classic Marvel comic books.
Back in 2021, Bernthal stated in an interview that he hopes any other iterations of the Punisher character need to be shrouded in darkness. “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,” he said. “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.”
Daredevil: Born Again is set for release in early 2024, across Disney+ and Disney+ Hotstar.
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