Jon Bernthal Says The Punisher Is A “Real Piece About Grief”


Following a last-minute delay – Marvel’s latest standalone series was pushed in light of the recent Las Vegas shootingThe Punisher is fast approaching its Netflix debut.

And to mark the occasion, the Powers That Be staged a premiere in New York just last night, where Variety was on hand to uncover some tantalizing new details about the Frank Castle solo series. It’ll “dive a lot deeper” into Frank’s broken psyche compared to Daredevil, according to series showrunner Steve Lightfoot, which angled Jon Bernthal’s vigilante as a one-man reign of terror out to kill those responsible for the death of his family.

That still applies to The Punisher, of course, but as Bernthal so aptly put, this is more a character study of grief and its crippling effects, rather than a fantasy-fuelled romp involving The Hand.

This is a real piece about grief; it’s about pain. What we ask in the course of this season is ‘What do you do next? What do you do with the war inside, and how do you face that?’

Jeph Loeb, Marvel’s head of television and executive producer, echoed that sentiment, and believes it is Frank Castle’s human qualities that will give The Punisher an edge over the competition. In fact, the Marvel stalwart even went so far as to hail the show’s characterization as “intense and, at the same time, really quite extraordinary.”

In terms of how vulnerable he can be, how human he can be, you really are on the edge of your seat. This is not a hero that bullets bounce off of, this a hero that bleeds, and that’s important to us.

It doesn’t shy away from PTSD, nor does it glorify the act of violence. Couple this with Lightfoot’s comments about delving into Frank Castle’s harrowing past and it’s small wonder why The Punisher has become one of the most-anticipated TV premieres of 2017. November 17th is the date for your diaries, when Marvel’s first Defender-less series will open day and date with a little-known comic book property called Justice League.