Criminals in Hell's Kitchen now have 2 reasons to be afraid as Marvel and Netflix have officially cast Frank Castle, AKA The Punisher for Season 2.
Jon Bernthal, formerly Shane in The Walking Dead is the man given the task of translating the ultra-violent, vengeful vigilante to the small screen for the first time.
Bernthal has appeared on nearly every "Who Should Play The Punisher" list in recent months and his casting will no doubt please many. There will of course be some who wish Thomas Jane had been given another shot, especially as his version of Frank Castle in the Dirty Laundry short has become such a cult classic.
But Bernthal is a great choice for the MCU's version of the character, he has appeared in several big budget movies in recent years such as Wolf of Wall Street and Fury and is highly recognizable from his albeit short stint as Rick Grimes partner and antagonist on The Walking Dead.
He can play nasty, complicated or emotional if needed, as his origin will no doubt be covered in some way, this will be crucial. Not to mention a VERY strong physical presence and resemblance to the character as drawn.
Of course the big question is how does Castle fit in to Season 2 and the MCU as a whole?
With Kingpin behind bars, the "lid of fear" that he kept over criminals will no doubt have gone and Daredevil's rise will mean those who do break cover are likely to not be scared of anyone. It's likely that Castle will be an antagonist in the early part of the season, perhaps with an episode dedicated to his origin as a "back door pilot" before the inevitable teaming up/mutual respect over a crazier, more dangerous foe. With Jason Statham rumored for Bullseye, this makes a lot of sense, limiting Statham or another bigger name to a handful of episodes with Bernthal covering the bulk of the season as the "villain".
Castle is someone who can provide a great dilemma for both Daredevil & Matt Murdock, could we even see Murdock charged with defending The Punisher in court?
MCU wise, it's entirely possible for a cameo in Civil War or more likely during Infinity Wars, after all the Russo's heavily hinted Castle was actually in The Winter Soldier, as the driver of the mysterious Penske truck that saved Fury and killed Sitwell. It's also possible that Castle gets his own film, as an answer to Deadpool. A movie such as Punisher doesn't need a huge time to shoot and less CG than the more powers based movies, it's entirely possible a movie could be gotten out within 2 years if the character is successful.
Netflix seems the ideal fit for the character though, the ultra-violent world set up in Daredevil is the world Frank Castle lives in, rather than the more sanitized version of the movies, but the inevitable death at the end of Civil War, be it Cap, Stark or Hawkeye is a perfect way to introduce the Punisher, and a more violent movie world to fans old and new.
Marvel hasn't missed with a casting in a long time and this is arguably one of the more exciting ones. Time will tell!