Daredevil Season 2: Walking Dead Alum Jon Bernthal Cast as The Punisher

Daredevil Casts Punisher

Daredevil is due for some punishment in Season 2.

The Walking Dead alum Jon Bernthal has joined the Netflix superhero series in the role of The Punisher, one of Marvel’s most popular characters, Marvel.com reports.

Per Marvel lore, Frank Castle (born Francis Castiglione) was a well-decorated Marine who saw his wife and children killed during a Central Park picnic, after they inadvertently witnessed a gangland execution. When the corrupt police force proved unable to follow up, Frank adopted the persona of The Punisher to exact his revenge, and more.

Season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil — under the care of new showrunners Doug Petrie (Buffy the Vampire Slayer, American Horror Story) and Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy) — will be available for streaming in 2016.

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53 Comments
    • Hold on. Wait a moment. Rather than gender or race bend the Punisher to serve some marketing stunt, Marvel instead cast an actor that can embody the role of Frank Castle? *gasp*

      • esteban says:

        If I were you I’d set aside this campaign pronto. Saw the OUaT comments. It’s doing you no favors waging an argument that so easily can be cast as patently racist. JMO

        • The issue is not race. Show me where I said that there is anything wrong with diversity. I clearly said that diversity has to be NATURAL, not forced. What’s happening with OUT is forced.

        • dan says:

          So am I racist because I hate that they cast a black man as Johnny Storm in the new Fantastic Four movie? Crapping all over the 60 some odd years of continuity just to show what good little social justice warriors they are by stunt casting makes me upset. I supported Idris Elba as a possible Doctor Who because Time Lords can undergo drastic changes as they regenerate and Idris would have been brilliant. Johnny Storm has always been white and the biological brother of Invisible Woman.

          • A passerby says:

            Rather than being just racist you’re also a tool. Like Johnny Storm’s whiteness is integral to the character… whoop-de-doo. If they had turned him into The Human Light or something like that those complaints would have validity but you’re just full of crap

            Also, the Invisible Woman is the adopted one, so suck it

          • The Storm’s skin color is integral in the sense that they are siblings. Not step siblings. Not adopted siblings. Not foster siblings. But genetically related, as in have the same mother and father. If one is white, so must the other. If one is Asian, so must the other If one is black, so must the other. And so on and so forth.

            The issue with F4 is not so much that Johnny is black (though it is the root of the problem), but that Sue is still white. Now she’s not “Sue Storm”, she’s “Sue [enter surname here], the adopted daughter of Professor Storm and adopted sister of Johnny”. At this point she’s more likely to be related to Doctor Doom, Reed, and Ben than she is to her actual brother!

            The solution was to either cast a black actress to play Sue or to cast Jordan to play Reed (not Ben since Ben is already a “minority” since he is Jewish).

          • Jack says:

            yes, “they are siblings. Not step siblings. Not adopted siblings. Not foster siblings. But genetically related, as in have the same mother and father.”…in the comic. But we are discussing the movie, so the point is moot. Comics and movies are two different animals, with different stories. If a black Johnny Storm offends you so much, then simply do not see the movie, and you will be much happier.

          • It’ funny how when white characters change race it’s acceptable, but when it’s the other way around it’s not. You know what people’s argument of choice is when someone complains about people not complaining about non-white characters being played by white actors? “There’s not enough of them (i,e. non-white characters). It’s you-know-what. I’m telling that the solution to the problem is NOT in painting white characters different colors but in CREATING new characters that are NOT white (i.e. Bradley, the first black Captain America, or John Stewart, the black Green Lantern, or Rodney, the black Iron Man, Morales, the black Spider-Man). This would solve the issue of having white actors play characters that are not white and actors that are not white playing white characters.

            People are clamoring for John Stewart to appear in the Green Lantern movie, NOT for a black actor to play Jordan. There’s a reason for that. Stewart has a fanbase. ANY character who isn’t white can ALSO have a fanbase. They just need to CREATE them.

          • Mel Pryor says:

            I’m going to re-boot Roots.
            As the source material does not need to be followed, I will be casting white actors to play the slaves.

        • tvjunkie says:

          your comments are blatantly anti-traditionalist. why shouldnt casting be done the way characters were actually written in the source material? are you saying the source material was racist and/or sexist? unless you are then your argument is invalid

      • Lizo says:

        All of your comments on this topic *are* racist. His whiteness isn’t integral to the character and saying its “stunt casting” to add diversity is horribly offensive. People want to see themselves on TV, they have a right to see themselves reflected in their media. When all these characters were created, it was all done by white men; no diversity behind the page meant barely any diversity on the page. Recognizing that now is a way to begin to change. And having a character be played by an actor of colour really doesn’t do anything to us white people (yes, I’m white). There’s tons of white people in our media, we don’t need to feel threatened by increasing colour diversity. We can still identify and root for someone who isn’t our race….and if you can’t, if a traditionally white character played by a person of colour prohibits you from connecting with them, then I suggest you take a long look at why that might be and confront some of the racist beliefs you have (and we all have them, there’s no shame in that, it’s how you go about correcting them).
        .
        There are some characters for whom their whiteness is essential to their character; Magneto….blanking on others hahaha.

        • Again, not about race. This is forced diversity, period. Real diversity is in CREATING new characters, not in coloring white characters different colors. It is POINTLESS. A white character will always revert to being white, no matter what, whereas a character who is CONCEIVED as something OTHER than white never will.

          • Jack says:

            “forced diversity”…So, you are saying that they only wanted to hire a black actor, rather than the best actor that was right for the part? If you were part of the casting process, then please share the conversations that were had, then. I would love to hear the details. Thanks in advance!

          • Jack, if these sort of hiring was done on the basis of TALENT, then you’d see Asian actors play characters who in the source material are black or vice versa, yet when that sort of casting happens, people blow their lid off. Case in point, Tiger Lilly in the upcoming Peter Pan remake is being played by a white actress. When THIS happens, it’s called white washing. For all you know, this white actress is the best actress for the part because the producers couldn’t find a Native American actress to play the role. Or look at Dragonball. White dude played the part of Goku. Was HE the best actor for the role?

        • dan says:

          I don’t feel threatened, and I’m not racist. A white Luke Cage would piss me off to no end and let’s just change T’challa to the White Panther while we are at it. That sounds like it would be ok with you. Are you racist?

    • Delirious says:

      … one would think he’d get his own show.

      Then again, I guess this means we get Bernthal as the Punisher in the MCU as well. He won’t be there in time for Civil War, right?

      • I suspect this is Marvel testing the wasters for an eventual Punisher show. Now whether it’ll be this actor in the role or they’ll recast it like WB did Arrow after they introduced the character in Smallville, is up for debate.

        • Andy says:

          Arrow was never meant to be a Smallville spinoff, whereas any theoretical Punisher series would play in the MCU the way Daredevil does. It would still be Jon Bernthal.

          • If they could recast Rodney…

          • Andy says:

            That was because of a falling out between the studio and Terrence Howard. It’s the same reason Edward Norton was recast with Mark Ruffalo. What I’m saying, however, is, if they introduce The Punisher on Daredevil and then proceed to give him his own show, that alone would never result in a recast because unlike Arrow in relation to Smallville, which are not connected in any way, Daredevil and a theoretical Punisher series would be directly linked.

          • Isobel says:

            Yeah I think if he proves popular he could get his own show, they have the rights to moon knight, ghost rider and blade as well if they wanted to do a marvel knights version of the defenders

  1. Dave says:

    This is great news. Loved him on TWD, I think this a great casting.

  2. Tea says:

    Wow. I gasped when I read it. Great great casting.

  3. Steven says:

    Couldn’t stand him on The Walking Dead. I know that’s because we were supposed to hate him, but he left a bad taste in my mouth. I did like him in The Class. That was such a good show.

  4. Ian says:

    Wasn’t the police department cleansed of corruption though?
    Steven DeKnight will be missed.

    • Wordsmith says:

      Either there will be new corrupt cops, perhaps somewhere else in the city, or his origin story will take place in flashbacks before/during the events of the first season. Or else the MCU version of Punisher will have a different backstory to fit into the established world.

      • Isobel says:

        Flashbacks I could see, presumably the attack on his family happened during daredevils first season or earlier and he appears full punisher to attack criminals

  5. Kate says:

    The casting on this show is really good, like everyone is sort of looking like reasonable approximations of their comic book incarnations.

  6. Hilltopper says:

    Right before he shoots a criminal, he will look down, rub his head and say, “m’ask you sumthin?” And he will constantly sweat.

  7. uk-usa-tvaddict says:

    I am beginning to worry that season 2 is getting too crowded, Daredevil, Electra, Fisk and now Punisher. But I suppose the inclusion of this character might make Matt/Daredevil tone down his level of violence. Can comic book readers comment on the relationship between these 2 characters?

    • m3rcnate says:

      The big difference is that S1 was light on characters because it was everyone’s origin stories. We saw the origin story of Matt, Fisk, and Foggy (still mysteries in regards to Karen). Now those are established…so that frees up a lot of time in the season to explore other (current) story-lines. Also I imagine (though i could be wrong) that Fisk for at least a while will be in prison, most likely pulling strings from there but still, not a ton of Fisk in S2, again leaving a lot of time for other stories. So, enter Matt meeting Electra, enter Matt coming across The Punisher (or vice-versa), enter Fisk putting a hit out on Daredevil using Bullseye…just because you hear a bunch of new characters being added to the season doesn’t mean each one will get a multiple episode arc or something.
      .
      No DD will not tone down his violence, he won’t kill (it seems) but The Punisher will prove to be even more violent and deadly. DD will stick to hand to hand fighting and fighting with his Billy-club.

      • uk-usa-tvaddict says:

        Thanks for your response. You make a great point about the focus on establishing all of the characters. I guess I don’t want season 2 of Daredevil to turn into Arrow.

  8. yurie says:

    Greg Rucka’s run was perfect for a 10-13 episode adaptation. Not liking this casting or Marvel’s plan on this.

    They couldn’t cast someone who atleast looked athletic enough to shoot guns and fight mobsters? He looks like a ponce.

  9. Spence says:

    Hearing this I am sincerely hoping now that Marvel will start to actually incorporate their TV universe with their movies despite recent reports that they’re trying to ignore their TV universe. Daredevil and Punisher need to be intertwined on the big screen with Spiderman and the other heroes we’ve come to love!

  10. SW says:

    I absolutely love this casting. I can’t wait for Season 2.

  11. abz says:

    Couldn’t stand him on The Walking Dead. Maybe this will be different.

  12. Lori says:

    Love the casting! I can picture him as Frank Castle.

  13. Steve F. says:

    Great choice – Jon Bernthal already looks like he has that simmering rage behind his eyes. (Still have to watch The Wolf of Wall Street, though.)

  14. Joey Padron says:

    Good casting. Happy Jon is returning to small screen again.

  15. Tony Lang says:

    “Dude, I think I just filled the cup.” – Jay

  16. jimmybing says:

    Excited to see what Bernthal brings to the role. Casting seems pretty spot on.

  17. Ram510 says:

    Been that is excellent!! Come to think of it, it would’ve been nice if he were on The Flash or Arrow.

  18. Tom says:

    Amazing news, amazing casting. However, can the mods step in on all this racism troll nonsence? We are not discussing the Fantastic Four in a Daredevil thread, and this is not Fox News. Most of us like to come here and calmly debate the articles without the usual forum spam.

  19. Liam says:

    Wow! Jon Bernthal never even crossed my mind but dam, I’m totally on board with this.

  20. Liam says:

    Wow! Jon Bernthal never even crossed my mind but frak yeah, consider me on board with this.