After Frank Castle’s brutal and bloody introduction in season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil last year, The Punisher is set to delve deeper into the character’s more relatable side, according to Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot. While Daredevil very much dealt with the Punisher as a killing machine, it sounds as though we are set to take a longer look at the pain that drives Jon Bernthal’s anti-hero.
Speaking to SFX Magazine, Lightfoot explained:
“You saw him in Daredevil, where he is pretty brutal and pretty dark. But on that show he was always on a mission. You only got to see 25% of who he was, and it was the guy who was always killing. He was an antagonist, not the protagonist. We carry on in a way that fans of the character will be satisfied by, but we’re also showing the other 75% of the character, enriching him and making the human side more present.”
With the move from (arguably minor) antagonist to series-leading protagonist, it makes sense for the Punisher to become a more complex, developed character when his solo series starts later this year. Lightfoot went on to talk about the need to focus on what makes Frank relatable.
“In Daredevil, he was a guy with a very simple agenda, which was revenge. And that was used to highlight Matt Murdock’s dilemmas. In this show, we’ve had to give him dilemmas of his own. With any show, even if it’s about superheroes or whatever, you have to find things that normal people will identify with, that are everyman qualities.”
“I’ve never been a Special Forces guy who kills 50 people, but I do know what it’s like to grieve,” said Lightfoot, suggesting the series is going to focus on Frank’s emotional pain stemming from the murder of his family. Of course, this isn’t entirely new ground. Daredevil explored Frank’s mission to find those responsible for his family’s deaths and, along the way, touched on this grief, most notably through Frank’s recital of a rhyme from his daughter’s favourite book.
It sounds like we’re about to see more of this side of the Punisher, with Lightfoot adding:
“At heart, you’ve got a very tough guy who isn’t necessarily great at showing his feelings, having at some point to deal with the loss of his family. And that’s something everyone can identify with. We can empathize with that, if not the actions it leads to.”
Will you be watching The Punisher later this year? What are your thoughts on Lightfoot’s approach to the character? Sound off in the comments below.
After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York’s criminal underworld. Now known throughout the city as The Punisher, he must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone.
The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle (The Punisher), Ben Barnes as Billy Russo (Jigsaw), Ebon Moss-Bachrach as David “Micro” Lieberman (Microchip), Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott, Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle, Paul Schulze as Rawlins, Jaime Ray Newman as Sarah Lieberman, and Michael Nathanson as Sam Stein.
While no release date has been confirmed as of yet, the series is expected to hit Netflix later this year.
6 R-Rated Comic Book Movies Audiences Deserve
Logan and Deadpool have shown studios that R-Rated superhero movies can succeed. Sure, Watchmen and 300 kind of proved that same point in 2009, but now both Marvel and DC have said R-Rated movies are a possibility. Audiences are tired of so many comic book movies featuring similar plots, so opening more projects to the potential of being R-Rated makes it possible that different, mature stories can be told.
Some characters, like Superman and Spider-Man, should never receive the R-Rated treatment. If a character is defined by a sense of hope or optimism instead of a dark, gritty core that grounds all their actions, then a R-Rated movie likely won’t work.
Hit Next to find out more about six comic book movies that should be R-Rated!