Kevin Feige recently outlined why Deadpool 3 is going to be the only one of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s upcoming projects to be awarded an R-rating, which didn’t sit too well with fans of Blade. Still, the company’s Chief Creative Officer admitted that he’s never been under the impression or belief that his outfit has to deliver profanity and graphic violence to tell its stories, with the obvious exception of the Merc with a Mouth.
That’s created some questions surrounding the Punisher, a character who definitely doesn’t work in a PG-13 environment. The rights to Frank Castle have lapsed back into the hands of Marvel Studios, and there’s naturally been a whirlwind of speculation revolving around the vigilante’s short and long-term futures.
Jon Bernthal has been strongly linked with a return, something he’s more than open to, while Hulu has been touted as a potential destination for the Punisher so that the property can retain its harder edges without having to sanitize or water itself down for either Disney Plus or a PG-13 feature film.
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Where he’ll end up first remains to be seen, but we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones who told us Ahsoka Tano would cameo in season 2 of The Mandalorian long before Rosario Dawson’s casting was announced – that Marvel are reportedly planning for the antihero to have a sizeable presence within the MCU when he eventually makes a comeback, whether it’s with Bernthal or someone else, and he’ll be showing up in multiple projects.
Of course, the rating is always going to be the elephant in the room until the studio publicly announces what they’re doing with the Punisher, but the franchise hasn’t let us down yet over the last thirteen years and counting, so it’ll always get the benefit of the doubt unless something goes disastrously wrong.