In the wake of last month's Las Vegas mass shooting, Netflix opted to delay the release of their Marvel spin-off, The Punisher, due to its predictably violent content. As audiences approach the new premiere date, actor Jon Bernthal voiced his hopes for the show's reception, saying that he wants it to further the discussion on the nation's gun violence epidemic.
“I hope, more than anything else, that people will recognize the gravity of this problem, and I’m just hoping a dialogue will be opened,” Bernthal told USA Today in a recent interview, adding that he agreed that delaying the premiere was “the respectful thing to do, and the right choice.”
With a dark predictability, however, the nation was rocked by yet another mass shooting earlier this week when a gunman opened fire during a church service in Texas -- the day before The Punisher's red carpet premiere in Los Angeles.
“There’s no words for that and what I take from it is, my God, we have to start realizing there’s a serious problem here and we have to start opening dialogue on it and we have to stop being completely rigorous and steadfast in our political positions here,” said Bernthal.
The show's star stopped short of saying that The Punisher should take a definite stance, but hopes that, if nothing else, audiences will become more receptive to discussing the problem after watching the series.
“I don’t think it’s our job to answer those questions, but I do think it’s our job to make us ask the questions. If this show does that in some way, I think that’s a really positive thing.”
The Punisher is still on track for its Nov. 17 release on Netflix.