Why 1 Punisher Star Isn't Hopeful for Their MCU Return Amid Netflix Comebacks

By Lauren Rouse Posted:
The Punisher MCU return Marvel

Earlier in the year, Netflix's Marvel shows made the jump over to Disney+. With that move came renewed hopes for the likes of Daredevil, Jessica Jones and the Punisher as the character rights returned to Marvel Studios

Fans' patience was rewarded when Charlie Cox's Daredevil returned to the screen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and later in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, proving that Marvel Studios was still somewhat committed to the Netflix versions of its characters. Another Daredevil star, Vincent D'Onofrio, also made the transition into the MCU when he returned to star as Kingpin in the Disney+ series Hawkeye.

This has raised questions about whether more actors from The Defenders saga could return in upcoming MCU projects. However, one actor from The Punisher doesn't have high hopes for their return.

The Punisher Star Addresses Jigsaw's Potential Return

Punisher Jigsaw ben barnes
The Punisher

In an interview with ComicBook.com's Chris Killian, The Punisher star Ben Barnes commented on whether his character Billy Russo, aka Jigsaw, might make a return in the future.

Barnes began saying he "loved" playing his character in the Netflix series:

"I loved, I loved playing that character. I loved kind of like discovering through the course of the show that we did on Netflix, discovering this kind of like abused child inside of this psychopathic, you know, unhinged, scarred marine body, and I loved how unpredictable he was. In terms of, you never know if he's gonna stab you or kiss you, or if he's gonna like scream and rage and fire a machine gun at you, or if he's going to sit in a corner and rock himself. You know, I, I just thought that I loved, I loved playing that character for that reason. It was so much fun."

The actor added that he enjoyed working with The Punisher star Jon Bernthal and "would absolutely" play Jigsaw again.

"I loved working with Jon [Bernthal], so I would absolutely play that character again."

Barnes said that if he returned he'd hope to see a "more gnarly" version of his character but doesn't "hold out a lot of hope" for that given the way the series wrapped up Jigsaw's storyline.

"I would like to see a more gnarly version of him, even in the terms of the way he looks, maybe we could beat him up more again. Maybe we could smash his face into something again, but he's very dead in the canon. I think we sort of did tie up that story in a quite satisfying way. So I don't hold out a lot of hope for that."

Will the MCU Piece Jigsaw Back Together?

Following the return of Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio in the MCU, the door does appear to be very open for the return of other characters from The Defenders saga.

The problem with Jigsaw's return, as Barnes pointed out, is that the character was killed off in The Punisher's second season. It's still muddled how canon the events of Marvel's Netflix series are in the MCU, but if the plot of The Punisher is to be followed, it would make it pretty difficult for Barnes' character to return. Although within the context of the Multiverse, anything is possible.

It's unclear at this point whether Jon Bernthal's character is likely to appear in the MCU. Bernthal is seemingly open to returning as Frank Castle and his co-star Charlie Cox has been supportive of the actor reprising his role as the Punisher. 

Only time will tell whether any characters from The Punisher series can make their way to the MCU.

- About The Author: Lauren Rouse
Lauren Rouse has been a writer at The Direct since the site launched in 2020. She has a huge passion for everything pop culture and currently writes news articles for the Marvel, Star Wars, DC and video game branches.