In the first half of the new season of “Daredevil,” the masked superhero’s main enemy will be the vigilante Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher.
The character, though murderous and morally ambiguous, is one of the most popular Marvel characters of all time. Castle, whose wife and children were murdered during a mob shootout in New York City, is out to avenge their deaths by gunning down every criminal he comes across.
“The Walking Dead” alum Jon Bernthal, who plays Castle in the new season of Netflix’s popular series, recently talked about his take on the antihero.
In an interview with ComicBook.com, Bernthal acknowledged that the character means a lot to many, saying, “I’ve said before that I know how important this character is to people in law enforcement and the military.”
“Guys putting the Punisher insignia on their body armor and their equipment as they’ve gone into battle and fight for this country, that’s something I take very seriously,” he explained.
Bernthal’s portrayal of the Punisher in “Daredevil” marks the character’s first live-action television version, though he has previously been the subject of three not-too-popular live-action films. Frank Castle has always been a difficult character to present, as he can easily come across as nothing more than a crazed mass shooter.
“We tried to be very sensitive,” showrunner Marco Ramirez told Variety. As Ramirez recounted, the writing team tried to keep in mind that the Punisher is a man with a mission, who made a promise to his late wife and children.
Speaking to the magazine, Bernthal added that the role is one that he could not have played if he wasn’t a husband and a father. According to the “Sicario” and “The Wolf of Wall Street” actor, “Until you truly understand what it means to love something more than yourself, and to happily give your life for something else in this world,” you can’t “come close to beginning to understand what it might be like to lose that love.”
“Daredevil” season 2 drops Friday, March 18, on Netflix.