The Punisher’s Jon Bernthal nearly turned down Frank Castle role


The Punisher on Netflix could have been a lot different without Jon Bernthal in the lead role, but the actor himself has revealed he almost turned it down.

Not every Netflix series based on a Marvel superhero has been a hit. Iron Fist was not met with the warmest reception. The Defenders did a little bit better, but it almost seemed like people were growing tired of the Marvel Netflix shows. It left a lot of people concerned about the premiere of the first season of The Punisher.

Fortunately, The Punisher broke the mold, and has been pretty acclaimed. Critics and fans both are praising the performance of Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle, the titular superhero. Bernthal perfectly captures the spirit of the character, a mentally wounded veteran turned vigilante after his family is killed by criminals.

At this point it’s already impossible to picture anybody else in the role. But apparently, Bernthal himself almost didn’t take it. In a new interview with Variety, Bernthal has revealed that he had no desire to take on a superhero franchise, as none of the actors he had admired had ever gone in that direction:

"“Fully candid, being part of a superhero franchise was not something that I really had an ambition towards; it wasn’t really on my radar. A lot of the people that I really admire, actors that I really look up to have avoided that whole thing.”"

As luck would have it, however, Bernthal dove into the comic books to get a better understanding of the character. Loving that he didn’t have any superheroes and was just a man who loved his family, seeking ultimate vengeance, Bernthal felt he could relate to the character and took the project on.

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Season 2 of The Punisher is expected to premiere on Netflix in 2018. Bernthal will of course return as Frank Castle.