After firing thousands of rounds, turning hundreds of criminals into carcasses and mesmerising us through a few unforgettable monologues, Frank Castle is breaking free of the shackles of Daredevil, and getting center stage on his very own Netflix Punisher TV show.
Jon Bernthal's portrayal of the Marvel antihero deserves its own spin-off. Netflix are no slouches when it comes to keeping their eyes on what audiences respond to, and Castle's vengeance fuelled blood thirst won legions of fans, and for me personally was the highlight in a series full of highlights.
We still have quite some time to wait until the Punisher returns, with a release date currently set for November 2017. Details are scarce, what with an announcement still fresh in the air. But we won't let that stop us from taking a look at what we know so far, right?
1. Jon Bernthal Will Return, Yay!
Was it ever in question? In a live-action setting, the Punisher has been portrayed by Dolph Lundgren in the 1989 movie, followed by Thomas Jane in 2004, and Ray Stevenson in Punisher: War Zone. But for all their efforts, none matched the tenacity and the complexity of Bernthal.
The actor rose to the challenge of capturing the humanity in a mass murderer with a lukewarm heart. Actually making the character likeable was crucial for his role in Daredevil, but even more so for his own solo series. With all things considered, Bernthal was arguably the biggest incentive for Netflix to commission his series.
2. We Won't See An Origin Story
Daredevil provided a platform to explore the origin of Castle, and to strip back the layers of his questionable psychology to reveal his motivation for his rapid killing sprees. This gives an interesting angle to a spin-off series; we don't need to rehash the origin story, and we already understand Frank's mindset, so events can explode into action from the off.
3. So What Comic Book Story-lines Will The Plot Follow?
As with all Marvel properties, the source material is plentiful. Plus, as with Daredevil and Jessica Jones, the Punisher solo venture will probably reside within the MCU. But if it's not broken, there's no point in Googling for ways to fix it; expect a similar gritty and grounded feel, in line with Netflix's general packaging of superhero series.
If showrunners go with the tried and tested theory, expect something along the lines of "Up is Down, Black is White," an unforgiving and gritty storyline that originates when gangster Nicky Cavella entices Castle into action by urinating on the remains of his family and videotaping it, in an attempt to really piss Castle off.
4. The Showrunner Is Steve Lightfoot
The talented writer is best known for his work on the TV show Hannibal. His name was linked with the project as soon as the show was announced, and he'll have the task of choosing what direction to take the character next.
5. We Could See Some Interesting Cameos
The obvious choice would be Daredevil himself, Charlie Cox, switching center stage for a brief appearance in the Punisher spin-off. From Daredevil, we could also see an appearance from Karen Page, who had a close relationship with Frank Castle.
In terms of other comic book characters, we could potentially see an appearance from Microchip. In Daredevil, the scene where Frank returns to his house to burn it to the ground, he collects a CD with "Micro" written on it, in what could be a reference to the character.
The Netflix Punisher TV series is due for release in November, 2017.