Jon Bernthal's Punisher was a smash hit in Daredevil Season 2, so it was no surprise when Marvel announced he'd be starring in his own #MarvelNetflix series! For some time it's been rumored that The Punisher will air as soon as 2017, and fans became convinced that would be the case when it began filming in September. Now, that's finally confirmed!
What Do We Know So Far?
Marvel and Netflix have now officially announced that The Punisher will air in 2017, continuing Frank Castle's dark and turbulent tale. Daredevil Season 2 saw him launch a war on crime in Hell's Kitchen; one that shook the city of New York, and was still being talked about by politicians a year later in Luke Cage. Broken out of prison, he resumed his campaign of brutal vigilantism, and even played a minor but important role in the final episode of Daredevil.
Steve Lightfoot, a British writer and producer best known for NBC's Hannibal, is the showrunner. In early interviews for Daredevil Season 2, Bernthal explained that the character we've seen is yet to become the Punisher. Daredevil Season 2 was essentially an origin story, and now the Punisher will truly open the pages of his War Journal.
Casting information has been pretty sparse thus far, but preliminary details have started to surface. MCU Exchange reported that casting was underway for the Punisher's sidekick Microchip, while TVLine has reported that Ben Barnes is playing an unknown role. Daniel Webber, Jason R. Moore, Paul Schulze, Jaime Ray Newman and Michael Nathanson have all now been confirmed for roles in the series.
When Will The Punisher Air?
We don't yet have a definite release date, but Marvel's latest statement officially tells us that the series will air in 2017. It's not a massive surprise — fans had been putting the pieces together to suggest that for some time. Back in September, Netflix loaded a synopsis for The Punisher into their app; they typically do that about a year before a show is released.
When we learned filming was beginning this year — disrupting Jon Bernthal's appearance at New York Comic Con — it seemed safe to assume we'd be seeing The Punisher on our screens in 2017.
Now, we have official confirmation of what we'd suspected. This latest news makes The Punisher the third Marvel Netflix show to release in 2017, as both Iron Fist and The Defenders have been confirmed for next year (it's believed that Netflix's contract with Marvel requires The Defenders to air by the end of 2017).
That's a remarkable change for Netflix. In July 2015, Netflix's Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos told Variety that Netflix planned to only release two Marvel shows a year.
“I think ideally there will be a rhythm of about every six months you’ll get a new season or a new series from the Defenders group. And then they’ll crossover into a combined [Defenders] season once we’ve launched the first season of each of the four characters.”
It's possible that Netflix has changed strategy as a result of the remarkable success of Marvel Netflix to date - Daredevil, Jessica Jones and Luke Cage have all been massive hits.
It's also possible, though, that The Punisher doesn't count as part of what Sarandos called the "Defenders group". After all, this series wasn't part of the original contract between Marvel and Netflix, suggesting either the contract changed, or a new one was negotiated that just covered The Punisher.
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Whatever the truth may be, the fact that The Punisher has started filming is tremendously exciting for Marvel fans. Next year already features some blockbuster hits that we've been eagerly awaiting — Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Now, it looks certain we're in for a triple dose of Marvel Netflix shows as well!
Which Marvel Netflix series are you most excited for?