Ben Barnes Responds To The Punisher’s Cancellation

The Punisher

Yesterday, the inevitable announcement finally came that The Punisher would not be renewed for a third season on Netflix, and while both fans and cast members could see the cancelation coming from a mile off, it still came as a blow to hear it.

In the time since, social media has flooded with posts lamenting how Frank Castle’s journey will most likely end here, and among the responses was one from Ben Barnes. The actor who played Billy Russo for two seasons took to Instagram with an assortment of mostly bloody set photos, along with a message thanking viewers for tuning in:

“Well… that’s the end of the road for @marvel @thepunisher on @netflix Thank you to everyone who tuned in for an episode or binged each season in 13 hours & for all your wonderful, supportive, funny, creative comments – I can’t read them all but I see you & appreciate every one! Loved working with this cast & crew – I miss you & gutted I don’t get to see what you had in store for a third Season!”

Barnes’ onscreen foe Jon Bernthal had a message of his own to share yesterday via Instagram, too, in which he declared that it was “an honor to walk in [The Punisher’s] boots.” Meanwhile, with Jessica Jones also getting the ax, Marvel Television president Jeph Loeb shared an open letter reflecting on the Marvel/Netflix era.

Interestingly, Loeb’s message ends on a note of optimism for the future, stating that Netflix “may have decided they no longer want to continue telling the tales of these great characters… but you know Marvel better than that.” The letter then signed off with the tease, “To be continued…!”

But while Loeb’s words may sound promising, a report published last December by Variety claimed that the Defenders and possibly the Punisher may not be allowed to appear on any non-Netflix releases until two years after cancelation, so for all we know, the producer was just putting on a brave face. Time will tell whether any of the Marvel/Netflix heroes can find a home somewhere new, but first, Jessica Jones will officially be closing the book on the current era for Marvel Television when its third season comes to Netflix later this year.