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Former WALKING DEAD Star Jon Bernthal Joins DAREDEVIL as the Punisher

The Punisher has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Marvel Studios announced on Tuesday that former Walking Dead star Jon Bernthal will play the vigilante in Season 2 of the popular Netflix streaming series.

Bernthal will be the fourth actor to play the Punisher in a live-action movie or TV show, following in the footsteps of Dolph Lundgren, Thomas Jane and Ray Stevenson. After two failed attempts at getting a Punisher movie franchise going by Lionsgate with 2004's The Punisher and 2008's Punisher: War Zone, rights to the character reverted back to Marvel Studios. We've been speculating for several years now over how Frank Castle would find his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

"Punisher could show up at one point," Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige said in 2013. "You know, once we get characters back into the Marvel fold we don't want to do something right away, we want to do the smart thing at the smart time."

Punisher joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe through Season 2 of Daredevil signals a change in how the studio is dealing with its Netflix shows. Sure, the plan is probably still to have Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist culminate in a The Defenders miniseries, but that endgame really isn't the big thing any more. Daredevil was a bigger hit than Marvel or Netflix expected — its second-season renewal was never part of the original plan. We were supposed to get four individual series then the miniseries.

During the press tour for Mad Max: Fury Road, Tom Hardy talked about how he would love to play the Punisher for Marvel. The idea of growling Hardy playing the vigilante was music to fans' ears, but with the character entering the MCU through the television side, that was never going to happen.

Expect the new Punisher to be in line with the level of violence we've seen in Daredevil. Bernthal's Punisher isn't going to be a deranged, sadistic killer. These characters all have the potential to eventually show up in a future movie, most likely one of the Avengers: Infinity War installments. The Marvel Cinematic Universe version of Punisher isn't going to do anything that would keep him from getting his face on a bunch of kids' T-shirts sold at Target.

Jon Bernthal Cast as Frank Castle in the Netflix Original Series 'Marvel's Daredevil'
The dynamic actor will punish Hell's Kitchen in the next season of the Netflix series, coming in 2016!

Jon Bernthal (“Wolf of Wall Street,” “The Walking Dead, ” “Fury”) joins the upcoming season of “Marvel’s Daredevil,” streaming only on Netflix in 2016!

Bernthal will portray The Punisher, one of Marvel’s most popular characters. He is a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results.

“Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences,” said Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Television. “Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”

Bernthal will also appear in the upcoming action thriller “The Accountant.”

“Marvel's Daredevil” is Executive Produced by Doug Petrie (“American Horror Story,” “Buffy The Vampire Slayer”), Marco Ramirez (“Marvel’s Daredevil,” “DaVinci’s Demons”) and Drew Goddard ("Cabin in the Woods," "Lost"), along with Marvel TV's Jeph Loeb ("Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.," "Marvel’s Jessica Jones.”)

"Marvel's Daredevil" is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios. Season one of “Marvel’s Daredevil” is now streaming on Netflix. 
Former WALKING DEAD Star Jon Bernthal Joins DAREDEVIL as the Punisher Reviewed by Bill Kuchman on 6/09/2015 Rating: 5

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