When Kevin Feige admitted that Deadpool 3 is the only R-rated property on the horizon for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, fans immediately let their feelings be known over the prospect of a PG-13 Blade, but it’s also posed even more questions surrounding the almost inevitable Punisher reboot.
Ever since the rights to the former Netflix properties began lapsing back to Marvel Studios, all of the small screen Defenders have been heavily linked with a return as their respective characters, with the notable exception of Finn Jones’ Danny Rand. Between them, Jon Bernthal, Charlie Cox and Krysten Ritter have been touted for upwards of 20 projects both in development and completely hypothetical, something that’s not going to change until Feige announces concrete plans for the street-level New York City residents. When that’ll be, we don’t yet know, but tipster Mikey Sutton is now claiming that Frank Castle could be coming back to Hulu in an R-rated series based on the Punisher War Journal comic book run.
When Feige made his R-rated comments, he said that the MCU hasn’t yet tackled a character other than Deadpool that requires a more mature tone to thrive, which wasn’t him ruling out any potential future movies or TV shows skewing older. According to Sutton, in fact, that’s why the violent R-rated adaptation of the Punisher remains on the table, with Hulu providing the perfect means of separating it from the family-friendly Disney Plus lineup.
Of course, whether or not the world’s biggest and most popular franchise is open to splitting its exclusive episodic content across two platforms is another question altogether, one that might not be answered for a long time yet until we hear of some concrete plans for the Punisher.