Despite Jessica Jones – the second series in the five part line-up of Marvel/Netflix Phase One – still filming, we’re already getting some updates on the Second Season of Daredevil. As we discussed in a previous article, Daredevil’s First Season had a ton of set ups for its Second Season as well as Ironfist and The Defenders. And whereas most of those assessments are already seem to be in the works, it is a seemingly random Easter Egg Hope that just became confirmed Season 2 goodness: The Punisher is coming to Hell’s Kitchen and the MCU.
How? Why? And who will play him? Well from what we’ve learned from the Marvel Press Release and Daredevil’s First Season, we can begin to answer these questions and more – so let’s get started!
Who Is The Punisher – Character & Casting:
As you can tell by his alias – The Punisher – Frank Castle isn’t the kindest of souls. Usually The Punisher’s defining moment was when his family was gunned down by the mob – although I feel this backstory will be changed to the Ultimate version for the Daredevil series. In that version, The Punisher was originally one of the NYPD’s finest until corrupt cops whom he tried to expose gunned down his family. Because of this, The Punisher is an extremely unhinged character and doesn’t care who gets in his way. Hmm, a good cop who becomes unhinged after he sees his ‘family’ taken away from him… why does this sound so familiar?
Well if you’re a Walking Dead fan this will immediately remind you of Shane Walsh, Rick Grimes partner who goes a little … crazy after he sees Rick’s wife and son – whom he rescued – start spending more time with Rick after it’s revealed he wasn’t dead after all. Marvel definitely knew what they were doing with this one because the man cast to play Frank in Daredevil is none other than TV Shane himself – Jon Bernthal.
According to the Official Marvel Release, Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s Head of Teleivision said:
“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… Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock and nothing will be the same.”
Bernthal is certainly familiar with playing such a powerful yet emotionally vulnerable person, but what are these ‘changes’ Loeb mentions. How will The Punisher affect Hell’s Kitchen – besides putting more bodies in the morgue.
What This All Means – Set Up, Fallout & Matters Of Faith:
As I started the explain, the Ultimate version of Punisher has Castle as an NYPD officer whose family is murdered by corrupt cops he tried to turn in. Well the similarities / set up potential gets stronger when you learn that those corrupt cops were paid off by The Owl – aka Owlsley for those who rememeber Fisk’s financial partner. We’ve already seen how corrupt Fisk made the NYPD in Season One so introducing Castle as a fallen officer trying to avenge his family would make perfect sense.
In fact, all of this could have already happened because as we end Season One we see Hell’s Kitchen embracing Daredevil as a hero for bringing down Fisk. This could serve as a catalyst for an already mourning Castle. He could see what a difference Daredevil made and take to the vigilante life himself. After all, this wouldn’t be the first time we’ve seen hero/vigilante-ism lead to copycats (ie: Ironman 2, Arrow, The Dark Knight, etc).
Though with Castle’s entrance into Hell’s Kitchen, we’ll see Daredevil come to terms with a question that plagued him – and Fisk – for most of Season One: What kind of man do you want to be. In the end, Murdock learned that he wasn’t the killer but the man who uses Daredevil to assist the law. This of course pays homage to Murdock very Catholic heritage; but Castle will serve as the exact juxtaposition to this. Whereas Daredevil doesn’t kill, Punisher kills with no remorse. This will again bring Murdock to a crisis of faith as he wonders if this man is truly helping or just another problem. He pondered this before with Stick, but whereas Stick showed restraint Castle has none.
Dardevil Season 2 might be a long ways off, but I’m already super excited about seeing Murdock again – and now Castle as well. This most likely isn’t the last we’ll hear about Season 2 as casting rumors for Bullseye and Elektra keep coming in. So stay tuned here for more!