The fact Marvel and Netflix were teaming up for a second season of Daredevil was reason enough to get excited and mark the calendar. Add the fact The Punisher and Elektra are going to be on board, and we’re just downright spoiled.
As many know, The Punisher is one of Marvel’s darker, more ruthless antiheroes, a man losing his soul and humanity in search of retribution. It’s only right then, that he be a difficult character for audiences to gravitate towards on-screen.
Playing Frank Castle in Daredevil season 2 is Jon Bernthal, arguably best known for his memorable role as Shane Walsh in AMC’s The Walking Dead. Speaking at a roundtable during the TCA Press Tour, Bernthal was asked about whether he found it hard to find The Punisher’s middle ground. It turns out he didn’t want to.
“Some people that are heroes to some can be looked at by another group of people as villains. As far as a middle point, just speaking for myself, that’s exactly what to avoid. My job is to avoid that. I’m constantly looking for ways to abandon the audience and make them give up on me, and then try to win them back in a different way,” Bernthal said, hinting that viewers are going to be in for one morally deficient character, as Frank Castle should be.
“I think the idea is to go full force. That’s the big thing with Frank. When he’s going, he’s going 100% forward. It’s not about finding a middle ground. It’s not about saying, “He did this, but it’s sort of okay.” It’s about, “I did this.” And then, later on, we’ll be bold enough to say, “But, I did it for this reason.” We don’t have to explain that while we’re doing it, or spoon-feed the reason. Let the audience not be with him for a little bit. For lack of a better term, it’s a more nuanced way to tell the story. That’s what makes him complicated. If you just deliver something in a middle ground and say, “Well, I’m sort of doing this,” it’s half-stepping. What’s interesting about these characters is how bold they are and how they go forward 100%, and then deal with the consequences.”
We’ll see just how bold these characters get when Daredevil season 2, with Charlie Cox back on board as the titular hero, hits Netflix on March 18.