THE PUNISHER Star Jon Bernthal Has No Interest In Returning As A Watered-Down Version Of Frank Castle
Could we see Jon Bernthal reprise the role of Frank Castle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It could happen, but the King Richard actor has no interest in returning as a watered-down take on The Punisher.
Though nothing has been made official just yet, it looks like Marvel Studios does indeed plan to reintroduce some of the characters from the now cancelled Netflix Marvel shows while keeping the original actors on to play them in the MCU, and there have been persistent rumors that Jon Bernthal is set to return as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher.
The actor has spoken about the prospect of donning the iconic skull logo again on several occasions in the past, but it doesn't sound like he has much interest in playing a watered-down version of the ultra-violent vigilante - which he almost certainly would be under the Disney-owned Marvel Studios banner.
While chatting to THR about his part in King Richard, Bernthal gave an in-depth response when asked about the possibility of reprising the role of Frank Castle in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
"That character, in particular, has real, real, real deep, deep meaning for me and resonance in me," he began. "He’s really in my heart, man. He’s really in my bones. I’m enormously protective of that character. I’ve said before that there’s nothing in this world more important to me than my wife and my kids, and only until you understand that kind of love and what it really means to willingly die for somebody, [do you understand] what it would be like if somebody took them from you. That’s a road and a darkness and a rage that really, really scares me and brings me to places that I’ve worked the last 20 years to get away from. So I was really grateful, respectful and weary of the places where that role took me and the world in which I had to live in."
"That being said, that’s where that character needs to be. It needs to be a level of darkness," he continued. "I think if there’s any let up on that character, you do a disservice to the character, to every iteration of the character, to every comic book that’s come before, and to all of the unbelievable fans of the character. This character means so much to people in the military. So like I said before, it’s not about whether you do the character; it’s about whether you can do it right, and I’m only interested in doing it right."
While it's true that a brutal character like Castle would be far from a good fit for the family-friendly MCU, we know that Deadpool 3 will be R-rated, so the studio is clearly planning to expand into uncharted waters at some point in the near future.
Who knows, maybe we will see Bernthal back in the saddle as The Punisher down the line.