“Dark and Brutal”: Jon Bernthal Talks ‘The Punisher’ Series

Image credit: Netflix

“It’s going to get into as dark and as brutal a place as you’ve ever seen in the Marvel world.”

Jon Bernthal aced it as The Punisher, aka Frank Castle, a role previously inhabited by the likes of Thomas Jane, Ray Stevenson, and Dolph Lundgren. The moody antihero had some of the best moments in Daredevil‘s fantastic second season, and the warm reception from audiences helped pave the way for Netflix‘s confident move to greenlight a 13-episode spinoff series.

It’s been around 5 months since filming wrapped on the antihero’s first season, and although the streaming giant is gleefully keeping the exact release date under wraps for the time being, the official trailer and images recently released mean one thing: The Punisher will be returning very soon.

And from the sounds of Bernthal’s comments, if you thought that crazy prison fight sequence in DD S2 was pretty full-on, prepare yourself for what’s coming next.

Speaking to EW about the character’s journey this time around, Bernthal explained that Marvel’s The Punisher will find Castle dealing with a ‘now what?’ scenario after taking out those responsible for his family’s murder.

“He’s a man on a mission again [in The Punisher], and what [Punisher showrunner and Hannibal alum Steve] Lightfoot is trying to do is ask the question “What do you do when that’s over? What do you find out about yourself when you realize there’s nothing left? What is his purpose?” There’s an introspective bent in trying to figure that out. He finds something to fight for, something new to believe in.”

Castle’s “introspective” journey will find him going down one dark, one can imagine crimson-filled path. According to Bernthal:

“He’s up against all of it. During this show, nobody is who they appear to be… This season is much darker as it goes, it gets darker and darker and more visceral. The show takes you on this journey of Frank becoming more and more human again and then shutting off and shutting off and going back to what works for him, and the place where he kind of belongs, and I think that’s a place of solitude and of darkness and destruction.”

Bernthal also explained that he we wanted to be respectful to both the character’s military history and, in turn, the military community. “More than anything, Frank is a soldier,” Bernthal said.

And on whether he’s feeling the pressure…

“It might be the Frank Castle inside me, but I’m always thinking things could be headed for the worst. I’m horrified all the time. Look, there was an unbelievable response to the Frank we put out there in Daredevil, and it means the world to me, and I’m so grateful, and I do not want to let people down.”

If Bernthal delivers the type of intensity and internal anguish he did the first time around – and you just know he will – then he’s got nothing to worry about.

Marvel’s The Punisher
Image credit: Netflix