It looks like Daredevil will have a new character to face off against – or join forces with.
According to Marvel, the company behind the Netflix TV series “Daredevil,” actor Jon Bernthal of “The Walking Dead” has been cast as the character the Punisher.
“He is a vigilante who aims to clean up New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results,” Marvel writes.
“[Actor] Jon Bernthal brings an unmatched intensity to every role he takes on, with a potent blend of power, motivation and vulnerability that will connect with audiences," said Marvel's head of TV, Jeph Loeb, in a statement. "Castle’s appearance will bring dramatic changes to the world of Matt Murdock, and nothing will be the same.”
(Spoilers for the first season of “Daredevil” follow…)
The central villain in the first season of “Daredevil,” which stars actor Charlie Cox as blind lawyer and superhero Matt Murdock, was the Kingpin, portrayed by Vincent D’Onofrio. D’Onofrio’s performance was mostly praised by critics, with Alan Sepinwall of HitFix writing that “D’Onofrio is everything the show could ask for in an arch villain” and Washington Post writer Hank Stuever calling the actor “a convincingly sinister presence.” But the last episode in the 13-episode first season found the Kingpin, also known as Wilson Fisk, in prison. It remains to be seen whether he’ll be kept on the sidelines during the second season or whether he’ll quickly break out or be released. (One clue: According to Deadline, D’Onofrio is returning for the new episodes.)
In the comics, the Punisher, also known as Frank Castle, is a veteran who fights crime like Daredevil but uses torture and murder to do so. Will his extreme methods make him Daredevil's latest enemy or newest ally?
io9 writer James Whitbrook is betting he’s a new foe, writing that it “sounds like the Punisher will probably find himself at odds with Matt Murdock and friends.” Business Insider writer Joshua Rivera agrees that the Punisher would begin as an enemy, predicting that “we’ll likely see a brutal showdown between the two characters” before an “uneasy team-up” later on.
The Punisher has appeared on the big screen before, including in a little-remembered 2004 movie of the same name that starred Thomas Jane of “Texas Rising” as the title character.