As has been the case ever since The Punisher was first canceled by Netflix, every now and again we hear unsubstantiated rumors claiming that Jon Bernthal is on his way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe for a feature film or TV series, which hasn’t even sniffed the air around official as of yet.
Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk may have been welcomed back into the fold, but Daredevil and Kingpin are capable of being refitted for a PG-13 environment without much fuss, something that certainly doesn’t apply to violent vigilante Frank Castle.
Either Marvel Studios sends him off to Hulu for an R-rated episodic reboot, or lets him follow in the footsteps of Ryan Reynolds’ Deadpool by starring in a movie aimed towards older audiences. PG-13 Punisher simply does not and cannot work, which is why former Frank Thomas Jane revealed to Movieweb that he thinks the character’s goose is cooked.
“I don’t see a future for Castle. Marvel was bought by Disney. Disney is willing to take things to a certain place, but they’re not willing to go much further. I think that the real noirish, gritty, realist aspect of the anti-hero, it’s not going to be well served [by Disney]. I could be wrong, and I hope I am wrong. But, you know, the real version of Frank hasn’t really been put on film yet.”
The man’s got a point, and while it can’t be ruled out that we’ll never see the Punisher operating within the confines of the MCU, it’s got to be R-rated or bust, because otherwise what’s the point?