The arrival of Frank Castle in the second season of Daredevil gave fans what they've long waited for, with Jon Bernthal's performance as the vengeance-seeking Punisher proving a perfect fit for Netflix's gritty, street-level corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Ahead of the premiere of The Punisher spinoff, the actor has already received widespread praise for his portrayal of the antihero. And now another voice has joined the chorus: Frank Castle co-creator Gerry Conway.
Introduced in 1974 in The Amazing Spider-Man #129, The Punisher became a mainstay of Marvel's comic book universe, first as a supporting player and then as a star in his own right. Unfortunately, the character has proved surprisingly difficult to translate to the screen, and has undergone a handful of live-screen iterations already.
The first was a 1989 film starring Dolph Lundgren, which opened to widely negative reviews. The character was revived with 2004's The Punisher starring Thomas Jane, considered only marginally more successful, before being rebooted again in 2008 for Punisher: War Zone starring Ray Stevenson.
Bernthal, however, appears to have changed the game. His version of Frank Castle was widely considered a high point of the second season Daredevil, and spurred Netflix to greenlight a spinoff series. Already a hit with fans and critics alike, Bernthal can also boast the stamp of approval of veteran writer Conway.
Speaking at New York Comic Con, Conway named Bernthal's Punisher as his favorite on-screen portrayal of the character. "Jon Bernthal gives The Punisher the kind of pathos that’s underneath the tough guy," he said, "and I really like that."
Expected to premiere sometime this fall on Netflix, The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, and Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page.
(via Screen Geek)