Ben Barnes Responds To Concerns That The Punisher Glorifies Violence


As a deadly US-Marine-turned-vigilante, Frank Castle practically lives and breathes in the shadows of New York City. He’s also about the closest thing to the Grim Reaper that one can find in Marvel Comics, and it’s fair to say that Jon Bernthal delivered a chilling, remarkably nuanced performance as the Punisher during Daredevil season 2.

In fact, Bernthal was so impressive that Marvel and Netflix quickly issued the green light on a standalone series, one that’s poised to roll back all the fantastical elements that found their way into Iron Fist and The Defenders.

Fast forward to now, and with only two weeks left until The Punisher‘s premiere, co-star Ben Barnes spoke to Screen Rant about all things Frank Castle, and took time to address those lingering concerns about violence. For the record, the show’s release was postponed at the 11th hour following the Las Vegas shooting, but hasn’t been altered in any way.

Here’s Barnes’ two cents on the matter:

I think these characters, even more so than in other superhero shows – which is why you don’t see a lot of guns in other superhero shows unless it’s a gun being kicked out of a nameless bad guy’s hand by a hero that would rather be nonviolent – but I think our characters are complex, particularly the character of the Punisher. He’s very much an anti-hero. He’s almost a villain character in some of the comics and the Daredevil series.

Barnes continued by drawing attention to the way in which Steve Lightfoot handled The Punisher‘s most violent scenes, which are designed to make the audience feel uncomfortable.

I think it was always laid out for us that the violence in our show was supposed to make you uncomfortable and you’re supposed to see the wear and tear on characters if they are violent. Nobody, I think, in our show is violent and lauded for it, especially if they’re using weapons. So that’s definitely not a message that’s being put out there, and that was something that was talked about. But obviously the conversation gets hugely heightened when things happen in the world – the tragic events in Las Vegas and everything – when the conversation escalates, but it was certainly something that wasn’t taken lightly. The violence on our show was never something that was meant to be glorified.

All 13 episodes of The Punisher‘s inaugural season will be available to stream from November 17th. Following a last-minute delay, the Frank Castle solo series now shares a release date with Justice League, meaning comic book fans will be spoilt for choice in two weeks’ time.