The Punisher (TV series)
|Created by||Steve Lightfoot|
by Gerry Conway
John Romita, Sr.
|Country of origin||United States|
|Location(s)||New York City|
Marvel's The Punisher, or simply The Punisher, is an upcoming American web television series created for Netflix by Steve Lightfoot, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films and other television series of the franchise, and is a spin-off of Marvel's Daredevil. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios, with Lightfoot serving as showrunner.
The series revolves around Frank Castle, who uses lethal methods to fight crime as the vigilante "the Punisher", with Jon Bernthal reprising the role from Daredevil. Ben Barnes, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Amber Rose Revah, Deborah Ann Woll, Daniel Webber, Jason R. Moore, Paul Schulze, Jaime Ray Newman, and Michael Nathanson also star. A television series centered on the Punisher received a put-pilot commitment at Fox in 2011, but that project fell through. In June 2015, Bernthal was cast as the character to appear in the second season of Daredevil. Development on a spin-off titled The Punisher began by January 2016, before the season of Daredevil was released. In April 2016, Marvel and Netflix ordered the series, confirmed Bernthal's involvement, and announced Lightfoot as executive producer and showrunner. Filming began in New York City in October 2016.
The Punisher is scheduled to be released in 2017.
Frank Castle is haunted and hunted after the murder of his family and becomes a vigilante known in the criminal underworld as "the Punisher", who aims to fight crime by any means necessary.
Cast and characters
- A vigilante who aims to fight the criminal underworld by any means necessary, no matter how lethal the results. Daredevil season one showrunner Steven S. DeKnight said this version of Punisher would be "completely the Marvel version," as previous portrayals did not appear under the Marvel Studios / Marvel Television banner. However, Bernthal did study all the previous portrayals, saying, "once you devour and eat up and much as you can, my way is to make it as personal as possible". Bernthal was particularly inspired by the 2012 short film Dirty Laundry starring Thomas Jane.
- Ben Barnes as Billy Russo: Castle’s best friend from when he served in the Special Forces. Russo runs Anvil, a private military corporation.
- Ebon Moss-Bachrach as Micro: A former NSA analyst who assists Castle.
- Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani: A Homeland Security agent who is vexed by Castle.
- Deborah Ann Woll as Karen Page:
- Lawyer Matt Murdock's former assistant and a burgeoning news reporter, who befriended Castle after working on his case. Woll reprises her role from previous Marvel Netflix series.
- Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott: A young veteran struggling with his new life as a civilian.
- Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle: A friend of Castle, one of the few people who knows he is alive.
- Paul Schulze as Rawlins: A high-ranking member of the CIA who crosses paths with Castle due to their time in Afghanistan.
- Jaime Ray Newman as Sarah Lieberman: Micro's wife.
- Michael Nathanson as Sam Stein: A Homeland Security agent, Madani's partner.
|No.||Title||Directed by||Written by||Original release date|
In October 2011, ABC Studios sold a script based on the Punisher to Fox, who gave the project a put-pilot commitment. The series would be an hour-long procedural following NYPD detective Frank Castle, "whose alter ego is that of a vigilante seeking justice for those failed by the court system." Ed Bernero was attached as executive producer, but by May 2012, the project had not moved forward. A year later, the character's film rights reverted to Marvel from Lionsgate. In June 2015, Jon Bernthal was announced as cast as Frank Castle in the second season of Marvel's Daredevil on Netflix. The series was the first of several live action series provided to Netflix by Marvel Television and ABC Studios, with subsequent series featuring Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist all leading up to a miniseries based on the Defenders.
By January 2016, ahead of the Daredevil season two release, Netflix was in "very early development" on a spin-off series titled The Punisher, and was looking for a showrunner. The series would be centered on Bernthal as Castle, and was described as a stand-alone series, outside of the series leading up to Marvel's The Defenders. Head of Marvel Television and executive producer Jeph Loeb implied that Marvel Television had not instigated the development of the spin-off and were focusing on making "the best 13 episodes of Daredevil season two" at the time, but did say, "I’m never going to discourage a network from looking at one of our characters and encouraging us to do more ... If we are lucky enough that through the writing, through the direction, through the actor that people want to see more of that person, terrific." Loeb stated a month later that the reports about the potential spin-off were "something that people are speculating on, as opposed to something that's actually happening."
In April 2016, Marvel and Netflix officially ordered a full 13 episode season of The Punisher, confirmed Bernthal's involvement, and named Steve Lightfoot as executive producer and showrunner. Loeb, Cindy Holland, and Jim Chory also serve as executive producers.
Bernthal had been cast as Castle in June 2015 to appear in the second season of Daredevil, and was confirmed to be reprising the role for the spin-off in April 2016. That September, Ben Barnes was cast in the series in an unspecified series regular role. The next month, set photos revealed that Deborah Ann Woll would reprise her Daredevil role as Karen Page, Barnes was announced as playing Billy Russo, while Ebon Moss-Bachrach and Amber Rose Revah also joined the series, as Micro and Dinah Madani, respectively. At New York Comic-Con, Bernthal confirmed Woll as a co-star. At the end of October, Marvel announced the additional casting of Daniel Webber as Lewis Walcott, Jason R. Moore as Curtis Hoyle, Paul Schulze as Rawlins, Jaime Ray Newman as Sarah Lieberman, and Michael Nathanson as Sam Stein.
The Punisher is scheduled to be released in 2017 on the streaming service Netflix, worldwide. The 13 hour-long episodes will be released simultaneously, as opposed to a serialized format, to encourage binge-watching, a format which has been successful for other Netflix series. In July 2016, Netflix COO Ted Sarandos stated that The Punisher would not debut until 2018 at the earliest, after The Defenders released in 2017, but that October, Marvel confirmed a 2017 release instead.
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