The Punisher Release Date, Cast, Story Details, and More News

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It came as no surprise after Daredevil Season 2 that Jon Bernthal’s scene-stealing role as tortured vigilante Frank Castle, better known as The Punisher, would get his own show. Indeed, the urban executioner will take the spotlight in Netflix’s The Punisher series later this year.

While the character we saw in Daredevil Season 2 was already on a dark path of indiscriminate vengeance against New York’s seedy criminal elements in the aftermath of the mysterious murder of his family, Bernthal himself has implied that the character’s proper evolution into the Punisher that Marvel fans know and love is far from complete. Thus, the possibility of seeing this process unfold on The Punisher is exciting.

There’s a new teaser, which probably indicates that there’s a trailer coming at SDCC…

There’s no Punisher panel at SDCC, but there’s a big Defenders presentation in Hall H on Friday, July 21 at 5:15, so perhaps there will be some news then!

Read and download the full Den of Geek SDCC Special Edition magazine here!

The Punisher Release Date

Dearbhla Walsh (Fargo, Penny Dreadful) has directed one of the episodes of The Punisher, and in an unrelated interview with THR, let slip when the show is coming, saying “it’s not airing until November.”

That November release makes a lot of sense. Netflix doesn’t want to crowd The Defenders in August, and Jessica Jones Season 1 first premiered in November. Netflix also loves to drop shows right before Thanksgiving to generate long weekend binge watching and dinner table arguments. Since Jessica Jones arrived on November 20, 2015, the Friday before Thanksgiving, maybe we can pencil in The Punisher for Friday, November 17.

We’ll confirm this when Netflix does, of course.

The Punisher cast member Jason R. Moore, who plays Frank Castle’s friend Curtis Hoyle, has tweeted a picture, consequently revealing the very first piece of promotional material for the series with a look at the skull-logo poster. The Punisher’s iconic symbol appears sharper and more refined than we’re used to seeing, while menacingly rubbed off in places. Simple, yet effective.

The Punisher Cast

Rosario Dawson has confirmed in an interview with Collider that her character Claire Temple will NOT appear in The Punisher. While it’s certainly difficult to imagine how Claire could find herself in the orbit of a darker, homicidal vigilante such as Frank Castle, the reason for the character’s absence has nothing to do with plot. As she states:

“I really wanted to do a cameo on The Punisher, but it doesn’t always work that way.” Prefacing that by explaining, “For The Defenders, it was difficult to get everybody together. People are busy! There are so many times where I really want it to happen.”

Claire has become the common, continuity-joining thread throughout Marvel’s ever-expanding street level serial continuity on Netflix. The character started as a struggling nurse in the metaphorical and literal crosshairs of the city’s sinister elements after tending to a wounded Matt Murdock in Daredevil Season 1 (returning for Season 2), eventually making the superhero rounds with Jessica Jones, Luke Cage (in which a romance bloomed), Iron Fist and will return in this summer’s crossover event The Defenders. Indeed, the Netflix street level Marvel shows seem to be just as much a showcase of Claire’s evolution as a character as they are about the powered/costumed heroes she befriends. For now, though, it appears that The Punisher has Claire sitting out a season for the very first time.

The series has just wrapped filming, so it’s off to post-production. But in the meantime, while they were kind of shy about giving Frank Castle an actual Punisher costume when he appeared on Daredevil, it looks like he’s getting that familiar skull chested look soon enough!

You can also check out a boatload of set photos here.

Daredevil‘s Deborah Ann Woll will co-star with Jon Bernthal. Considering the bond that Frank Castle and Karen Page had on Daredevil season 2, this should make for some fun storytelling.

“We couldn’t have asked for a more talented group of actors to round out the cast of Marvel’s The Punisher,” said Executive Producer and showrunner Steve Lightfoot in a statement. “It’s a thrill to watch them each bring their characters to life with such layered, nuanced performances.”

“Marvel TV is very proud of the cast of The Punisher,” said Executive Producer Jeph Loeb, “Each actors brings a special promise who surround Jon Bernthal’s exceptional performance.”

Ben Barnes as “Billy Russo”: While his involvement in The Punisher was previously reported along with rumors that he might play Bobby Saint, Marvel now confirms that Barnes will portray the comic-book-crucial role of Billy Russo. The description of Barnes’s version of Russo states that he will be “Frank’s Castle’s best friend from his days in the Special Forces.” Adding that, “He runs a successful private military corporation called “Anvil.”’

However (and that’s a big “however,”) Marvel Comics fans know that a very ugly destiny is attached to the name Billy Russo. By way of an eventual light shined on his more sinister side (connected to Frank Castle’s tragedy,) and a fateful incident involving a glass pane, Russo ends up with a scarred visage, turning him into the iconic Punisher villain Jigsaw! The character was played by Dominic West in the notorious 2008 film Punisher: War Zone.

Ebon Moss-Bachrach as “Micro”: The actor with notable television runs on GirlsThe Last Ship and Damages will make his way to the show as a character named Micro, described as “a former NSA analyst whose secrets may be of great value to Frank Castle and everyone around them.”

“Micro” seems to be the MCU television realization of Marvel Comics character David Linus “Microchip” Lieberman. Microchip has been a perennial clandestine helper to Frank Castle’s brutal crimefighting efforts, providing computer hacking skills and regularly supplying high-tech home-brewed weaponry. – In essence, look for Micro to become The Punisher’s Q.

Amber Rose Revah as “Dinah Madani”: The exquisite London-born actress seen in the miniseries Indian Summers and as Mary Magdalene in 2014’s Son of God, will portray a character named Dinah Madani. The character is described as “a highly-trained sophisticated Homeland Security agent who is vexed by the Punisher.” While Dinah Madani does not appear to be the character product of any comic book influence, it does seem like she’s being fit to play the part of a federal pursuer of the media-maligned vigilante Frank Castle, with whom reluctant respect might bloom.

Daniel Webber (11.22.63) is Lewis Walcott, “a young veteran who has had a difficult time re-assimilating into Civilian Society.”

Jason R. Moore (A Lonely Place for Dying) is Curtis Hoyle, “a friend of Frank Castle’s and one of the few people who knows he is alive.”

Paul Schulze (Nurse Jackie) is Rawlins, “a high-ranking member of the CIA whose operations in Afghanistan intersect with Frank Castle.”  

Jaime Ray Newman (Bates Motel) is Sarah Lieberman, Micro’s wife, “whose marriage has made her life far more complicated.”

Michael Nathanson (The KnickWolf of Wall Street) is Sam Stein, “a Homeland agent who is challenged by his partnership with Dinah.”

The Punisher Netflix Story

A rather basic synopsis briefly surfaced on the Netflix app:

After the murder of his family, Frank Castle is both haunted and hunted. In the criminal underworld, he’ll become known as The Punisher.

It’s not much.

The Punisher Netflix Series Details

This is the first new series created since the initial collaboration between Marvel and Netflix was announced. The Punisher series joins DaredevilJessica JonesLuke Cage,Iron Fist, and Defenders. Writer/producer Steve Lightfoot (Hannibal) has been tapped as showrunner of the new series. He will also write the first two episodes.

“For me, the complexity and unpredictability of Frank Castle make him an incredibly compelling character and I couldn’t be more excited to dive into his world,” said Lightfoot. “After watching Jon’s performance in Marvel’s Daredevil I could not be more excited to be working with him to further develop and progress the story of this anti-hero in a show of his own.”

“We want to thank the fans who are clamoring for more of Jon’s stunning and powerful performance as Frank Castle from Marvel’s Daredevil,” said Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb. “Now combined with Showrunner Steve Lightfoot’s compelling writing, we’re thrilled to bring Marvel’s The Punisher to Netflix.”

Jon Bernthal was always down to explore the character more, though, telling Complex thatFor me, it’s not a question of what they want to do with a character, it’s more, how are they going to do it, and who’s going to be the ones to do it. This character is in my bones now, he’s in my blood. If they want to go forward in any way, for me it’s just really going to be about making sure we do it in a way that’s raw and intense. I want to push the envelope. I wanna alienate more of the audience and try to bring them back.”

Tyler Bates will provide the score for Netflix’s The Punisher, according to Film Music Reporter. The work of Bates, a veteran composer, has been heard in films such as Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (having scored the first film), The Belko Experiment, John Wick, Watchmen, 300 and on television with the 2017 revival of animated hit Samurai Jack, Kingdom, Salem, Californication and Low Winter Sun.

We’ll update this with more information as it becomes available.

The Punisher Trailer

It’s not really a trailer, but check out the promo Netflix used to announce the series.

A version of this article first appeared in January of 2016. It has been updated with new information since then.

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