Series Showrunner Says The Punisher Will Uncover The “Human Side” Of Frank Castle


When Frank Castle was first introduced to Marvel and Netflix’s small-screen universe via Daredevil season 2, he was very much angled as the vengeful antithesis of Matt Murdock – “you hit ’em and they get back up; I hit ’em and they stay down!”

But for The Punisher spinoff series, showrunner Steve Lightfoot plans to present the “human side” of Jon Bernthal’s mercenary across its 13-episode arc. Speaking in the latest issue of SFX Magazine (via CBR), Lightfoot drew a line between protagonist and antagonist, before hinting that Castle’s long-awaited solo series continues “in a way that fans of the character will be satisfied by.” Color us intrigued.

In doing so, and based on the show’s fleeting teasers, The Punisher will flit between the present and Frank’s harrowing past to showcase how his days spent serving in the US Marines shaped and molded him into the one-man-army that hones in on the crooks and thieves populating Hell’s Kitchen. Think of him as the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen without the training wheels – without the moral compass and Murdock’s ability (weakness?) to lend everyone a second chance.

As for detailing what makes the Punisher tick, Lightfoot told SFX Magazine:

You saw him in Daredevil, where he is pretty brutal and pretty dark. But on that show he was always on a mission. You only got to see 25% of who he was, and it was the guy who was always killing. He was an antagonist, not the protagonist. We carry on in a way that fans of the character will be satisfied by, but we’re also showing the other 75% of the character, enriching him and making the human side more present.

And though revenge is a big motivating factor for the haunted (and indeed hunted) Frank Castle, the series showrunner went on to reveal that the forthcoming spinoff will dig a little deeper.

In Daredevil, he was a guy with a very simple agenda, which was revenge. And that was used to highlight Matt Murdock’s dilemmas. In this show, we’ve had to give him dilemmas of his own. With any show, even if it’s about superheroes or whatever, you have to find things that normal people will identify with, that are everyman qualities.

All 13 episodes of The Punisher are expected to pummel their way onto Netflix before the year’s end.

Source: SFX Magazine