Jon Bernthal has spent well over two years being constantly linked with a return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as the Punisher, or a re-debut if you agree with Kevin Feige that the Netflix shows aren’t official canon. It hasn’t happened yet, but it’s not as if the actor isn’t out there admitting that he’d love to do it every time he’s interviewed.
The most recent spate of speculation caused a domino effect, with chatter that Bernthal was in line to return for an R-rated series swiftly followed by talk that Daredevil was being rebooted and absorbed into the MCU for a fourth season, which in turn saw Frank Castle trending all over again.
It’s been a cyclical process ever since Netflix first began wielding the axe on its comic book universe, but in a new interview with Scott King, Bernthal revealed that if he were to return as the fan favorite vigilante, it would need to be as dark and gritty as his previous adventures.
“As far as going on in the future, it’s a character that I really feel like I have sort of in my bones and in my heart. I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity, and what sort of happens in the future isn’t about whether they want to do it or not again. I don’t really prescribe anything to those kinds of decisions. It’s just about, if they do do it, are we gonna be able to do it right? Is it gonna be dark enough? Is it gonna be gritty enough? Are we gonna give the fans, and the folks that this character means so much to, are we gonna give them what they deserve? And if the answer is yes, man oh man, I would love that.”
That would seem to be the main sticking point with bringing the Punisher back into the MCU; the character simply cannot be done justice with a PG-13 rating, and Marvel have been sticking to the party line that Deadpool 3 is the only R-rated project on the docket. As always, we’ll just have to wait and see, but the rumors will continue in the interim.