Jon Bernthal Gives Sincere Response To MCU Punisher Return Question

Jon Bernthal gives a sincere response to the question of whether his incarnation of the Punisher could return in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Jon Bernthal gives a sincere response to the question of whether his incarnation of the Punisher could/should return in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Bernthal first appeared as U.S. Marine turned vigilante Frank Castle in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil. His nuanced yet enraged and heartbreaking performance proved so affecting that it warranted a solo spin-off series. The Punisher existed within the Defenders universe throughout its two seasons, standing alongside Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and Jessica Jones. It remains one of the best live-action comic book adaptations available to stream.


Following Netflix’s cancellation of The Punisher and its other Marvel shows—with Marvel Studios now exclusively owning the rights and producing its shows on Disney+—fans have wondered if, when, and how the studio will inevitably introduce characters like Castle and Matt Murdock to the MCU. Daredevil, in particular, has been at the center of this conversation with Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin rumored to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, a multiverse-heavy film able to ignore a variety of canonical issues. If Alfred Molina’s Doc Ok and Jaime Foxx’s Electro can appear, why not the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen or the Punisher himself (who technically already exists within the MCU)?

Related: MCU Theory: Matt Murdock Will Be In Spider-Man: No Way Home (Not Daredevil)

In an exclusive interview with Screenrant, Jon Bernthal, John Pollono, and Shea Whigham discussed their new movie Small Engine Repair. Of course, we spoke with Bernthal about the MCU’s multiverse being cracked open and how if there was ever a time to bring back Frank Castle, it’s now. When asked about his interest in that possibility, Bernthal had this to say:

“You know, we’ll see, I mean, honestly, I don’t think about it very much. I’m really happy — look, we’re all enormously blessed to be doing this. I can say for the other guys that you’re talking to as well, we really love this. We really love doing this. We work hard at it, we support our families by it, through it, but we never lose touch just how grateful we are to be in the position that we are that we get to do this for a living. I like to do this. I like to work with people I really respect and love and admire and make stuff with. This kind of project is precisely, it’s exactly the kind of stuff I want to be doing. So, whatever else comes, you know, kind of down the road, comes. But, this is something that’s really worth celebrating.”

Frank Castle sitting on concrete blocks overlooking city in The Punisher

John pollono’s Small Engine Repair is based on his 2013 play of the same name. The film, which sees the original cast reprise their roles, centers on a group of high school friends, now past their prime, who meet up one night at a repair shop under mysterious circumstances. In addition to that film, Bernthal is also set to appear in HBO’s The Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark, King Richard, The Unforgivable, and is currently filming Showtime’s American Gigolo series. Bernthal remains one of the busiest actors in Hollywood, having appeared in everything from The Wolf of Wall Street and Fury to Ford v Ferrari—he will continue to star in high-profile projects with or without Marvel. Still, his take on the Punisher deserves a gritty R-rated standalone backed by arguably the biggest studio in the world.

Ever since the Disney-Fox merger, and Marvel Studios’ acquisition of the X-Men and Fantastic Four, fans have anticipated Deadpool 3. Ryan Reynolds’ Merc with a Mouth will not only remain R-rated but join the MCU in some capacity. The days of believing a blood-soaked Punisher can’t exist under the Marvel Studios umbrella are a thing of the past. Disney has even said that its less family-friendly content, like Deadpool, will most like appear on Hulu rather than Disney+. So, if The Punisher, or Daredevil for that matter, ever returned for another season, it would be there. Even if Cox or Bernthal’s characters cameo in No Way Home, Thunderbolts/Dark Avengers, or Moon Knight project, audiences would love to see them regardless. As is the case with the possible future return of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Men, many vigilantes deserve closure.

More: Best Ways To Bring The Punisher Into The MCU

  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Black Panther: Wakanda Forever/Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022
  • The Marvels/Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Nov 11, 2022

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