The Punisher‘s cancellation was met with a ton of backlash – and can you really blame the fans for that? – but it wasn’t like we didn’t see it coming, with star Jon Bernthal even admitting that he was already “at peace” with the possibility of it happening shortly after the second run of the show premiered. Besides, after Iron Fist, Luke Cage and Daredevil all got the ax and were cut from Netflix, it wasn’t like Frank Castle ever stood a chance, right?
Still, given how popular The Punisher proved to be and how beloved Bernthal’s take on the antihero is, fans have long been calling to see Castle again in the MCU. Of course, it’ll be at least a few more years before Marvel can do anything with any of the Defenders, due to contractual obligations and whatnot, but that doesn’t mean the studio is done with them.
In fact, according to sources close to We Got This Covered – the same ones who told us Kevin Feige still has plans for Daredevil and Jessica Jones in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which MCU Cosmic recently backed up, and who told us the Inhumans were being rebooted in Ms. Marvel, which Anson Mount recently confirmed – Bernthal is 100% returning as the Punisher and will appear in future Marvel Studios productions.
At this point, it’s unclear where he’ll show up next and how he’ll factor into things, but we’re told that one idea is to do a Midnight Sons movie, which would feature Bernthal’s Punisher amongst other Marvel heroes like Ghost Riders Danny Ketch and Johnny Blaze. However, it’s thought that he’ll appear in a smaller capacity ahead of that, perhaps making a cameo in another character’s film in Phase 5.
Again, the specifics on which exact movie/movies he’ll be in are still hazy, but our sources have assured us that whether Marvel and/or Bernthal are ready to publicly admit it or not, the actor’s definitely returning to the MCU to reprise his role as the Punisher. And given that this intel comes to us from the same sources who also told us Hawkeye may be recast for his upcoming Disney Plus series, which incredibly reliable tipster Daniel RPK backed us up on, we have no reason to doubt it.