The Marvel Cinematic Universe has a broad spectrum of different worlds. Audiences have explored some of the great wonders of the Earth that we know thanks to the Avengers and we have also explored the cosmic side of this universe thanks to Thor and the Guardians of the Galaxy. But in one of the most compelling aspects of the MCU, the gritty, grounded world of crime within New York has been a staple – much of which is thanks to The Punisher, portrayed by Jon Bernthal.
Before Jon Bernthal was cast in the role for Daredevil season two, two other actors preceded him on the big screen. Thomas Jane portrayed Frank Castle in Jonathan Hensleigh’s The Punisher in 2004. Jane was then replaced by Ray Stevenson in the Lexi Alexander-directed reboot, Punisher: War Zone in 2008.
Joe Quesada, Chief Creative Officer at Marvel spoke to ComicBook about why he finds Jon Bernthal’s Punisher as something really special:
“It’s his own. He brings the intensity, but there is another side to Frank here. There is a tenderness to Frank. There is a fragility to Frank that you’ll see in this show that is part of that package. It’s part of what makes this something really, really special.”
Right off the bat, fans were ecstatic that Bernthal was cast in the role. Given his popularity from The Walking Dead as Shane as well as some of his recent performances in films such as The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury, Bernthal would certainly bring his A-game.
Thankfully, not only did Bernthal absolutely hit it out of the park, but he also brought so much humanity to Marvel’s most brutal vigilante. The scene that immediately stands out even more so than all of the visceral action sequences is Frank’s testimony to Daredevil in the episode “Penny and Dime”. In that one scene alone, viewers immediately empathize with Frank after hearing his graphic words regarding the death of his family that drove him to take on the role as The Punisher.
How would you rank Bernthal’s performance alongside Jane and Stevenson’s? Sound off in the comments below, and be sure to continue following Heroic Hollywood for all your latest news regarding the Netflix shows within the MCU.
All episodes of Marvel’s The Punisher will be available to stream on Netflix later this year.