When it comes to Netflix's handling of the Marvel characters formerly given to them, it was a mixed bag. However, one of the best parts of that whole corner, Charlie Cox's Daredevil, was recently brought back into the fold in Spider-Man: No Way Home before an appearance in an upcoming episode of She-Hulk.
So what hero might be rescued by the MCU next? Well, many want that to be Krysten Ritter's, Jessica Jones. Another strong contender, potentially even more than Jones, is Jon Bernthal's Punisher.
Not only do fans really want this to happen, but so does Cox himself. The actor previously noted how Bernthal is "tremendous" in the role and that he has no idea "who could do a better version" of Frank Castle.
The actor behind the skull seems up for the possibility, at least according to past interviews. One stipulation the star made clear would have to happen is that whatever hypothetical project he returned to would need to be dark enough in order to do the character justice.
At one point, Daredevil and Ahsoka actress excited the world when she seemingly let it slip that Jon Bernthal's return was truly in the works. In actuality, the actress admitted she had just heard the rumor from a fan earlier in the day and that she wasn't privy to any further information.
Now, it seems that the news fans wanted to be true back then might actually have arrived.
The Punisher Is Born Again
For those crossing their fingers to see Jon Bernthal's Punisher once again, then it might be safe to start holding on to that hope.
Previously it had been rumored from The Hollywood Reporter that Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones would be making a return in the upcoming Disney+ series. Now, it seems that industry insider KC Walsh of The Geeks Worldwide may be hinting at a change in course.
In a tweet, Walsh suggested that another "popular character" would be showing up in the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again Disney+ series, replacing "the rumored role Jessica Jones had:"
"I know I was in denial about this but it sounds like another popular character will show up as well due to a scheduling conflict as it appears they will take the rumored role Jessica Jones had."
The folks over at the Cape Time podcast gave a little more context on the matter, clearly noting that the 18-episode series would be "re-introducing" some of the roster from Marvel Netflix's group of heroes—in this case, first up would be "Jon Bernthal":
"Basically Born Again is re-introducing the Netflix characters to the mainstream and they planned to bring in Ritter but there’s a scheduling problem for Born Again. So they needed another Netflix star to fill the role. It’s Jon Bernthal. Wouldn’t be shocked if Ritter cameos tho."
The last time Bernthal was seen on screen as the Punisher was back in early 2019 when the second season of his Netflix show aired. If he does indeed make his return in Born Again, it will have been over five years since the world last saw Frank Castle.
Given all of the rumors of Bernthal being among the top contenders to be revived from the Netflix era, all of this would make perfect sense. The character also works perfectly with Daredevil both on screen and thematically; their chemistry also happens to be stellar amongst each other.
What Will Frank Castle's Role Be?
Assuming the show takes The Punisher as canon, even if only selectively, after Bernthal's second season, Frank Castle had resumed his self-appointed duties of getting criminals off the street. So, with such a blank slate, Marvel Studios can basically do whatever they please with the character.
The dynamic that works best between Punisher and Daredevil is when the two of them have the same goal, but the morality behind how they get there is entirely different. Maybe Matt will once again be trying to take down Vincent D'Onofrios' Kingpin, while Frank Castle is trying to do the same thing—but instead intends to put him in the ground instead.
At the very least, many fans will almost certainly get their wishes granted when it comes to how dare Cox's solo series will be. In Punisher involved, it won't be all that light-hearted, especially if it meets Bernthal's requirements to return as the iconic vigilante.
Given the climate of today's society, the Punisher is a particularly hard character and symbol to juggle. Many thought Castle might be put on ice for a long while due to his very nature clashing with many issues going on today; it seems that might not be the case.
Either way, it'll be great to have Bernthal's incredible performance back on screen. Hopefully, Krysten Ritter can come aboard the next train bound for the MCU.
Daredevil: Born Again is set to hit sometime in Spring 2024 on Disney+.