The fans demanded it and Netflix has given it to us. Frank Castle a.k.a. The Punisher will be getting his own series on Netflix. For those of us that have seen Season 2 of Daredevil, this is breaking news. Jon Bernthal was so good as The Punisher that it would have been silly for Netflix to not cash in and make a Punisher series.
While the Punisher is in fact in the universe with the Avengers (meaning superheroes and superpowers), I think that going the Punisher MAX route would be the way to go anyway. The Punisher MAX series is a series of Punisher stories that steps away from the Marvel world where their are super powered beings. This is a more realistic world.
When the Punisher gets shot or hurt he goes down and his inner monologue will describe the type pain he is currently in. One of the things that you get with the Punisher MAX series are old school villains. and not the kind of villains that you can relate to and find a way to like. These are the type of villains you will absolutely detest.
Along with the villains, come a group of protagonists that are damaged emotionally, but are strong willed despite their flaws. A series that stands out above all of the other is Up is Down, Black is White.
The one thing that can always be said about The Punisher is that he is calm, precise and calculated. But even the calmest of men have a trigger that can cause them to lose their cool. Nicky Cavella found that trigger.
He dug up the remains of Frank Castle's wife, son, and daughter and...relieved himself on them, filmed it, and then sent the footage to the local TV channels. They obviously played the footage. When Punisher saw the footage, let's just say he was less than happy. Nicky made the assumption that Frank Castle would go crazy and come after him.
Punisher did go a bit off of the rails, but he didn't go completely nuts. He went from killing maybe 50 criminals a week to killing 50 a day. He'd leave one guy alive at the murder scene to relay a message to the police: That the murders would continue until his family was reburied. While this may seem crazy to us, this is The Punisher being calm.
As we all know, a great story is nothing without great characters and actors to back it up. The characters in this particular arc are amazing and could be used throughout The Punisher's run on Netfix.
Nicky Cavella is a ruthless and conniving gangster with ambitions of becoming the boss of New York crime. The problem with Nicky is he burns bridges and uses everyone around him as cannon fodder. Nicky wouldn't be like Killgrave or Wilson Fisk. At least with the those two, you could see that they were either bred to be the way they are in some way or that they had good intentions. There are no likeable qualities about Nicky. He could be the first completely hated villain in the Marvel Universe.
This would definitely be a dream choice. Edward Norton (Fight Club, American History X, The Score) has proven over and over that he is one of the best actors of all time. I was having a hard time coming up with an actor that could play Nicky in a way that the viewers would really get him.
Then I came across the picture above and everything seemed to come into place. Norton has played the tough guy, he's played the conniving guy, and he's also played a weasel. All qualities that Nicky Cavella has.
If there is a quote that sums up Kathryn O'Brien's relationship with Frank Castle it's: "I've seen scary. Scary gets me wet." She was referring to the first time she saw Frank Castle in person.
Kathryn O'Brien is one of the toughest people in the Punisher MAX series and she is absolutely infatuated with Castle. O'Brien may not have always been a good person, but she absolutely knows the difference between right and wrong. There aren't many people that get the Punisher and even fewer that Frank Castle will let in and trust. Kathryn O'Brien is on both of those lists.
Kathryn O'Brien should be played by someone who's attractive, but also looks like the type of woman that will knock you out. One woman that immediately comes to mind is Ali Larter (Heroes, Varsity Blues, Resident Evil: Extinction). She's proven that she can play a role that requires an edge and a lot of toughness, but still have a sensual appeal to her. All this is needed to play a woman who understands and accepts why The Punisher does what he does.
Rawlins is like Nicky Cavella if he was a government spook. Rawlins is smart, enthusiastic, and completely untrustworthy just like Nicky Cavella. No wonder him and Nicky got along so well especially considering they were intimate. Like REALLY intimate.
The one thing that Rawlins has that Cavella doesn't is the fortitude to kill someone dangerous given the opportunity. He's still a cowardly little punk, but at least he has a body count. Another interesting part of this is Rawlins is that he's actually Kathryn O'Brien's ex-husband. He threw her out of a plane to save his cargo of drugs. I'm going to say that is grounds for a divorce.
Rawlins is character that needs to be played by a guy who looks tough on the outside, but has to have the ability to turn into a coward at the drop of a dime. Dominic West has the skill to pull this off perfectly. Not only does he have the acting prowess, he has the look as well.
If I had to pick one series to go with, I'd go with Up is Down, Black is White. Not only is the story great, but you also get a few characters to use in the future. More than anything, the Kathryn O'Brien and Frank Castle "love story" is a tale worth exploring. It may seem like two crazy people just having sex, but there is love there. Even cold hearted killers need love.