The Punisher is Coming to Netflix, and Screenrunner Steve Lightfoot Thinks He Can Show Us A Softer Side of Mr Castle

Image copyright Marvel Studios/Netflix 2017

We can all agree that Marvel’s Daredevil has been the most successful of the four Netflix Marvel shows the online streaming platform has produced. Charlie Cox is as perfect a casting choice as Robert Downey Jr as Iron-Man. The pacing is excellent and really set the tone for how a good Marvel series should and could go (especially with the fight sequences), and it helped to make a connection to the events of the MCU in a grounded and realistic way whilst still being true to its form.

And the second series went ahead and introduced The Punisher! So, yeah, there’s that.

Arguably the best part of season 2 of Daredevil was Jon Bernthal’s take on the role, who brought a heightened sense of sympathy to the character as well as blowing s— up for funsies.

And ever since Daredevil season 2, fans have been clamouring for a spin-off Punisher solo series, which Netflix has been happy to produce for us (clearly, the men and women at Netflix are as blood-thirsty as their subscribers!)

However, The Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot has recently explained – during an interview with SFX Magazine (via CBR) – how Frank Castle aka The Punisher has changed from his first appearances in Daredevil;

“You saw him in Daredevil, where he is pretty brutal and pretty dark.

But on that show he was always on a mission.

You only got to see 25% of who he was, and it was the guy who was always killing.

He was an antagonist, not the protagonist.

We carry on in a way that fans of the character will be satisfied by, but we’re also showing the other 75% of the character, enriching him and making the human side more present.”

Lightfoot went on to explain that, while nobody would or should sympathise with Frank’s actions, people will definitely be able to relate to him;

“In Daredevil, he was a guy with a very simple agenda, which was revenge.

And that was used to highlight Matt Murdock’s dilemmas.

In [The Punisher], we’ve had to give him dilemmas of his own.

With any show, even if it’s about superheroes or whatever, you have to find things that normal people will identify with, that are everyman qualities.”

Fans of The Punisher will know what makes Frank Castle an anti-hero, as well as what drives his revenge-fueled agenda. One fateful night, Frank’s wife and child were viciously murdered in their own home. Frank, unable to save his family, vowed to make those who ordered the massacre to pay, and he set out to Punish those who wronged him and his family.

Lightfoot continued in his interview to discuss some of those “everyman qualities” that will surpass Frank’s baser instincts for revenge and survival, and will that dig deep down into the core of The Punisher;

“I’ve never been a Special Forces guy who kills 50 people, but I do know what it’s like to grieve.

At heart, you’ve got a very tough guy who isn’t necessarily great at showing his feelings, having, at some point in time, to deal with the loss of his family.

And that’s something everyone can identify with.

We can empathise with that, if not the actions it leads to.”

The Punisher stars Jon Bernthal as Frank “The Punisher” Castle, Ben Barnes as Billy Russo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro, Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page, Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott, Shohreh Aghdashloo as Farah Mandani, and Paul Schulze as Rawlins, with Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio in an undisclosed role. The series is set to debut on Netflix in 2017, with some reports suggesting it will debut in November.

I’m thoroughly excited by this series, as there are some heavy rumours that one of my faves, Marc Spector aka Moon Knight, will be making an appearance in the series, almost confirming that a spin-off Moon Knight series is happening! Yeah, believe that!

Hang on a minute though, if that did happen, then wouldn’t that be a spin-off of a spin-off? Hmm.

Also, there’s a tonne of video content available for The Punisher already available online, including a handful of teasers;


This compilation/teaser/marketing video for Netflix‘s Marvel show that’s only NARRATED BY STAN LEE! and features a blink-and-you’ll-miss-it cameo from our man of the hour.

Plus a series of Tweets in Morse Code that refer to each of the titles of The Punisher series, like this one for instance;

Which is “3/am” in Morse Code. Handy.

-James, 20/09/2017

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