Jon Bernthal is quite a busy guy. He most recently made his debut as the Punisher on the second season of Marvel's Daredevil. As the first few episodes of the season unraveled, it became clear that Jon Bernthal is the definitive Frank Castle. Not long ago, a tweet from New York Comic-Con stated that he would be working on a Netflix project early next month. Even though the tweet does not state what the project was and the fact that he isn't working on any non-Marvel Netflix release, it naturally started a lot of speculation. See the tweet, and what Marvel properties he could appear on below.
What's the evidence? Production on the Netflix television team-up is bound to start filming before the end of the year, and even though the event was only slated to include the four core Defenders, it seems that Bernthal has earned his place on the team. Daredevil Season 2 has already proved that the dynamic between Murdock and Castle are unlike anything that has been put to screen for a superhero property. It would be an absolute misstep to not include him in the show. Back in June, Netflix CCO Ted Sarandos entertained the possibility of Castle appearing in The Defenders, telling audiences to "stay tuned." Who wouldn't want to see Castle trying to pick a fight with Luke Cage?
What's the evidence? As far as we know, Iron Fist is the only Marvel/Netflix series in production right now, and though it may be an odd pairing, the possibility of the Punisher appearing in the series might just work out. A cameo is the most probable reason why Jon Bernthal may be occupied in New York during the second weekend of October. It would be very interesting to see Frank Castle — who is arguably the most grounded and realistic member of the team — meet up with Danny Rand, whose powers are far more powerful than the rest. That leaves one to wonder: Will the Punisher be the one who assembles the team?
Agents Of S.H.I.E.L.D
What's the evidence? It may be surprising, but the prospect of the Punisher making an appearance on Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. is actually very likely. Even though it may not be a Netflix property, Marvel's Head of Television, Jeph Loeb, called upon a few special guests during the premiere screening of S.H.I.E.L.D.'s Season 4 debut, The Ghost. The creators he took time to introduce were Felipe Smith, creator of the Robbie Reyes iteration of Ghost Rider, and Gerry Conway, who he thanked for the Punisher's first appearance. Conway may have just been invited due to his character's involvement in the Marvel Television's Netflix division, but it is what Jeph Loeb said next that got audiences to speculate about Frank Castle's possible inclusion:
"You will understand why I brought all of these people here later in the season, and why it makes sense."
The possibility of Frank Castle meeting Agent Coulson and Quake can unite the whole entire Marvel Cinematic Universe. By fighting alongside a character from the films, and in the ABC television corner of the MCU, the whole saga will finally have connective tissue. Not to mention the fact that the Punisher may be sharing the same screen as Gabriel Luna's Ghost Rider. But the real question is: What does he do that gets the team's attention in the first place? Marvel is the one who decides.
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What's the evidence? In all fairness, this one is the biggest stretch of the list, but if it does happen, fans will go wild. The Marvel Cinematic Universe always claims that "it's all connected," but no character from the television universe has transferred over to the big screen. If any character from the television universe appears in Sony's superhero film, it makes the most sense to have the relentlessly violent Punisher. Why? Because Bernthal and Holland helped each other get their roles. Here is what Jon Bernthal said to the New York Daily News:
"We were making tapes from Ireland in the process of getting him cast in 'Spider-Man' and then he and I made a tape for 'The Punisher.' During this independent movie that we did in Ireland we were constantly making tapes for Marvel — just acting together. These tapes definitely do exist, you can call Marvel and ask for it, but that's like breaking into Fort Knox."
Vigilantes who live in New York City have to be aware of one another; it wouldn't make sense if they didn't. If a cameo wouldn't work story-wise, the Punisher could still casually made an appearance while Peter looks through his feed, or watches the news. It would make a lot of sense if the Punisher's first foray into the big screen was in a Spider-Man film, as his first ever appearance ever was in a Spider-Man comic. Marvel loves Easter Eggs and not using the location to its advantage would be a mistake. Speaking of location, the cast and crew of Spider-Man: Homecoming just moved its production from Atlanta to New York City and Jon Bernthal is going to be in town not long now. Marvel, you know what to do.
What's the evidence? Maybe Frank Castle isn't crossing over with any other characters in Marvel's vast catalog, and that's OK. It would be just as great to have 13 hours of the Punisher kicking ass in a full-fledged, gory revenge story. Ben Barnes has recently been cast as the antihero's antagonist Bobby Saint, a character who has debuted in the previous Punisher movies. It is likely that Marvel is starting on The Punisher solo series before doing The Defenders in an effort to drop three shows in 2017, squeezing in the series for release after Iron Fist. The move wouldn't be too surprising. Here's to hoping that the series is up to the same quality as the rest of the shows so far.
While we're on the topic of cool cameos in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, check out some of the cool things that could have happened in the cancelled Spider-Man 4:
What do you think Jon Bernthal is working on next month?