The Punisher was a standout inclusion to the second season of Daredevil, and the character’s solo series is highly-anticipated with fans clawing for a release date. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot recently explained how Frank Castle has changed from his first appearance in the Netflix Marvel universe to his upcoming series.
In an interview with SFX Magazine, Lightfoot explained just how Frank differs from when viewers last saw him.
“You saw him in Daredevil, where he is pretty brutal and pretty dark,” Lightfoot said. “But on that show he was always on a mission. You only got to see 25% of who he was, and it was the guy who was always killing. He was an antagonist, not the protagonist. We carry on in a way that fans of the character will be satisfied by, but we’re also showing the other 75% of the character, enriching him and making the human side more present.”
Lightfoot also explained that while nobody should sympathize with Frank’s actions, people will definitely relate to him.
“In Daredevil, he was a guy with a very simple agenda, which was revenge,” Lightfoot said. “And that was used to highlight Matt Murdock’s dilemmas. In this show, we’ve had to give him dilemmas of his own. With any show, even if it’s about superheroes or whatever, you have to find things that normal people will identify with, that are everyman qualities.”
Some of those everyman qualities will surpass Frank’s baser instincts for revenge and survival, drilling down into the core of what’s really eating away at the Punisher.
“I’ve never been a Special Forces guy who kills 50 people, but I do know what it’s like to grieve,” Lightfoot said. “At heart, you’ve got a very tough guy who isn’t necessarily great at showing is feelings, having at some point to deal with the loss of his family. And that’s something everyone can identify with. We can empathize with that, if not the actions it leads to.”
The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Farah Madani, and Paul Schulze as Rawlins, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in an undisclosed role. The series is slated to debut on Netflix this year.
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