Fans were delighted to learn that Daredevil season 2 would feature Marvel's most vicious vigilante, The Punisher. The violent mercenary will crash onto our screens next year, challenging Matt Murdock to question his own morality as they join forces to take down Kingpin.
But what's in store for The Punisher after season 2 of Daredevil ends? Could he cameo in Netflix's crossover show The Defenders? Or, as exec Steven DeKnight recently teased, could we finally see a Punisher solo show?
Hard-R for the Vigilante
No other rating would really do, would it? With Deadpool ready to take the silver screen by storm, in all his foul-mouthed glory, the demand for more explicit superheroes has never been higher. The Punisher would definitely satisfy this desire, though his sense of humour is decidedly less off-the-wall than Wade Wilson's. Regardless, Daredevil season 1 proved that the best superhero action is the most realistic: with gritty real life problems and battles that looked like they really hurt, Daredevil set the trend for down-to-earth hero work. I mean, who doesn't want to see more fantastic fight scenes like this one?
According to DeKnight, an R-Rating is crucial for a Punisher show.
"I’ve been a huge fan of the Punisher comics for years. I’d love to see him get his due on a platform like this. Nothing would delight me more than to see the Punisher get his own show and maybe we could convince Marvel to go Hard-R rating. If any character deserves an R rating, it’s the Punisher."
Just imagine what a full show of this kind of content would be like! Punisher going after the mob or drug gangs, and using all of those terrifying skills we know and love from the comic books. But would this be a bit too much like Daredevil? The two shows would deal with very similar topics, with parallel vigilante heroes who often blur the lines of morality. At New York ComicCon 2014, it was revealed that DeKnight and actor Charlie Cox drew from The Punisher comics in their decision of how to portray Matt Murdock. While this doesn't bode well for a solo Punisher show, it raises some very interesting questions for his role in Daredevil season 2.
Daredevil v Punisher
It's not going to be an easy road to an alliance between these two. With Matt's territorial love of Hell's Kitchen, there's no telling how he'll react to another hero stalking bad guy prey on his turf. Not to mention the clashes the two will face over morality and where to draw the line in crime fighting. In a recent interview, Rosario Dawson shed some light on the situation, giving tantalising hints of how the situation will play out.
"That’s going to raise the stakes so much more, because Matt Murdock almost behaves like the Punisher in the first season. Matt crosses the line quite often, so it’s going to be really interesting to see how they differentiate them and where that goes.”
So we can expect some nice conflicts between the two vigilantes!
But don't expect too much violence: Steven DeKnight that although he'd love an R-rating for Punisher's own show, season 2 will tone down the violence.
"The first season of Daredevil was violent but I always say it was more implied. It wasn’t nearly as violent as The Walking Dead, a show that I love. On that, if somebody were to crush somebody’s head in a car door, you would’ve seen the head crush on screen but we didn’t want to go quite that far. We wanted to keep it right around PG-16 and not go all the way to the R."
Disappointing, but not crushing (pardon the pun). After all, Daredevil's style was never a blood bath. Netflix's lax censorship meant we got some nice swearing and more realistic fighting than the MCU movies and ABC shows will allow, but if you're hoping The Punisher's appearance will herald a more gory depiction of violence, then you'll probably be disappointed.
We may not have long to wait until we get to see more from The Punisher outside Daredevil season 2 though: he's been hinted to appear in the upcoming Defenders show, and may even cameo in AKA Jessica Jones! So stay tuned for more updates on that sweet Punisher action.