Despite lacking any superpowers and instead just being really, really good at killing people, The Punisher remains one of Marvel's most popular characters. Following the surprise cancellation of the Netflix series last year, fans have been wondering when they will see the anti-hero next, and, thankfully, we only have to wait another year.
Reportedly, there is an agreement between the streaming giant and Marvel that states that the latter would not touch The Punisher for around two years, and we're now about halfway through, meaning that the studio can start thinking about what to do when the contract is up...if they haven't been thinking about it already.
Actor Royce Johnson, who plays Detective Sergeant Brett Mahoney in both Netflix series' The Punisher and Daredevil, discussed the alleged clause in the contract last year saying, "I mean, talking to [Marvel TV president] Jeph Loeb, I read that the memo had said, 'To be continued'. There is a clause that I heard through rumour that we have to wait 18 months, up to two years."
Johnson's co-star Amy Rutberg, who plays hotshot lawyer Marci Stahl in both Daredevil and The Defeners, has also mentioned the clause in the past saying, "There is this very real contract with Netflix. I had heard 18 months, maybe it's two years. I suppose it's possible that Marvel could buy them out, but I have not heard so much as a whisper."
As for who will play The Punisher in any future project, rumors persist that Marvel will reach out to Jon Bernthal to reprise the Frank Castle role. Bernthal's performance in The Punisher was universally praised by both critics and audiences alike, with the actor displaying perfectly the violent intensity and tortured vulnerability that makes the character so endearing. Realistically though, it is more likely that Marvel will want to distance themselves from what came before and recast, though whether this will be for another series or a movie remains to be seen.
Following Frank Castle, a man who uses lethal methods to fight crime as a vigilante, The Punisher ran for a total of two seasons on Netflix before being unceremoniously canceled in February last year. Starring Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach, Ben Barnes, Royce Johnson, Amber Rose Revah, Daniel Webber, Paul Schulze, and Deborah Ann Woll, The Punisher was not quite as much of a hit with critics as some of Marvel and Netflix's other collaborations but was very popular with fans, who long to see what the studio does with the character next.
Audiences were left disappointed when it was announced that Netflix had decided not to continue their Marvel shows, which, aside from The Punisher, also included the seminal Daredevil series. Many are still hoping that the show will return, with the original cast, and though the likelihood of that remains largely uncertain, it was similarly revealed recently that Marvel Studios will be able to use Daredevil for new projects in a few months time.
So, here's hoping we see the return of The Punisher in a year's time. Until then, you can stream both series of The Punisher on Netflix. This story originated at LABible.com.