Sources tell The Hollywood Reporter that actor Jon Bernthal will be reprising his role as Frank Castle, also known as the Punisher, in Marvel Studios’ Daredevil: Born Again for Disney+. The series will begin shooting in New York this month and will feature Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio as well. Unlike other Marvel series that typically have six to nine episodes per season, Born Again is planned as an 18-episode epic, with the show’s writers and executive producers, Matt Corman and Chris Ord, at the helm. The series is expected to be released in the spring of 2024.
Marvel was unavailable for comment.
The title of the Born Again series comes from the 1986 Daredevil comic storyline written by Frank Miller and illustrated by David Mazzuchelli. However, the show will deviate from the original plot, and it’s unknown how much it will stray. The Punisher did not appear in the comic storyline, and the focus remains on Daredevil’s conflict with Wilson Fisk, also known as the Kingpin.
Jon Bernthal first portrayed the character of the Punisher in the Netflix adaptation of Daredevil’s second season in 2016. He later starred in his own Punisher series on Netflix for two seasons from 2017 to 2019.
Born Again follows the Netflix era of Marvel television, which ran from 2013 to 2018 and included series such as Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Punisher. The Netflix shows were canceled ahead of the launch of Disney+ in late 2019.
Despite the cancellations, Marvel boss Kevin Feige indicated in January 2021 that he considered the Netflix characters to still be in play. By the end of the year, Charlie Cox, who played Daredevil in the Netflix series, made a cameo appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home and went on to appear in She-Hulk. Vincent D’Onofrio, who played Kingpin in the Netflix series, also appeared in Hawkeye, and both actors are said to have key roles in the upcoming Echo series, which will set the stage for Born Again.
However, it’s unlikely that Deborah Ann Woll and Elden Henson, who portrayed supporting characters Karen Page and Foggy Nelson in the Netflix Daredevil series, will return for the new Marvel series. Whether their characters will be recast or excluded from the story remains unclear.
Before Jon Bernthal portrayed the Punisher in Daredevil, he had already gained a following among genre fans for his breakout role as Shane Walsh in The Walking Dead. His performance in the Marvel series further solidified his status as a favorite among comic book enthusiasts. In recent years, Bernthal has also appeared in acclaimed productions such as the Oscar-winning King Richard and the Sopranos prequel, The Many Saints of Newark. He recently starred in the Showtime series American Gigolo.
In a late 2021 interview with THR, Bernthal discussed the possibility of his character, Frank Castle, joining the MCU. He expressed a desire to maintain the dark and gritty tone of the Netflix portrayal, stating that any deviation would be a disservice to the character and his history in comic books. Bernthal emphasized that the Punisher has a significant meaning to those in the military and stressed that his priority is to do justice to the character and honor the fans’ appreciation.