After several failed attempts at launching a film franchise around its most popular antihero, Marvel may have finally cracked the code; the Punisher will likely get his own Netflix spinoff series, Deadline has confirmed. Portrayed by Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) the character will debut in the second season of Daredevil, which premieres on Netflix March 18.
No date has been set for The Punisher bow, which was first reported by TVLine, but if it goes forward it would be the sixth Marvel series announced for the streaming service. Following the successful launches of Daredevil and Jessica Jones, production is currently underway on Luke Cage, with Iron Fist and The Defenders, a crossover miniseries featuring all four characters, also in the works.
First appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man #129, The Punisher is the alter ego of military veteran Frank Castle, who wages a one-man war against crime after his wife and children are killed during a shootout by rival mob outfits. The character’s belief in killing criminals rather than apprehending them frequently puts him at odds with Marvel’s traditional heroes, a theme that is at the center of Daredevil season 2.
Three The Punisher feature films have been produced – a 1989 DTV pic starring Dolph Lundgren; the 2004 film starring Thomas Jane; and 2008’s R-rated Punisher: War Zone starring Ray Stevenson. At New York Comic Con in October, Bernthal acknowledged the pressure from fans to get it right, calling the Punisher “an iconic character who people care an enormous amount about,” he said. “I know a lot of people really want us to get this right.” As a possible indication of his approach, he discussed how The Punisher resonates strongly with military and law enforcement.