Ladies and gentlemen, Netflix’s Daredevil just graduated towards into Truly Badass Territory. TBT my friends! Versatile actor and owner of one of the best noses in show business, Jon Bernthal, will portray Frank Castle, aka The Punisher, in season 2, set to begin filming later this summer.
Look, season 1 was solid. Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio set up an intriguing chess match in Hells Kitchen and the fights were brutally great and the supporting cast was fine(except for Foggy, he sucked). Bernthal’s entry as Castle just fits and is one of those casting moves that resembles a home run being hit and the batter executing the most lethal bat flip of all time.
Since Frank Grillo is Crossbones in Marvel’s universe already and all the the choices are lame(Thomas Jane apparently retired to DoNothingVille), Bernthal is a great choice for several reasons but I will lay out a few here while the crumbs are still dropping.
He is one of those faces of cinema that people know well but can’t immediately place. While his role as Shane Walsh in Walking Dead secures most of his fame, Bernthal has collected a steady stream of solid film work.
Remember him in The Pacific on HBO? Bernthal was the best thing about the DeNiro-Stallone flop Grudge Match, had some fun with The Rock in Snitch, and had a killer role in Martin Scorsese’s Wolf of Wall Street. He also played the wild loudmouth member of Brad Pitt’s World War II tank crew in David Ayer’s underrated action flick, Fury. Bernthal can do a number of roles and has the ability to be versatile and memorable. You don’t forget his face because it’s an authentic and classic Hollywood look. It doesn’t look fake or created. Bernthal is a man who resonates.
In my opinion, there hasn’t been a GREAT representation of Castle yet. Dolph Lundgren tried but his production values and script were crap. Jane wasn’t bad but that film was a steaming pile of crap and he brooded the entire time. He was good if not memorable. Ray Stevenson’s Punisher: War Zone was hampered by a bad script. With the ability to lay into people’s minds and settle in for multiple hours, Bernthal could steal the title with his rendition of Castle.
Marvel needs to do this right. Give this man a rough look. Flashbacks should show a clean cut man complete and the current visual should show a broken man looking for any sliver of revenge. Castle’s story is simple. A former FBI agent who lost his family to the mafia and swore to kill everything in his path afterwards. Blood drunk and perfect for the writing staff at Daredevil’s Marvel headquarters to play with.
This isn’t the first time the actor has taken on the mob. Bernthal recently enthralled viewers with his work on Mob City, as the only fair badge in town fighting Bugsy Segel and his mobsters. His work on that show should convince you immediately that he was born to fight bad guys. As The Rock said in Furious 6, you need wolves to hunt wolves.
When I see Bernthal, I see instant resonance as a force of nature. After playing the supporting hands and dealing with bigger names, Daredevil could be a launching pad for bigger and better things. If the show goes well, maybe Marvel finally does the Punisher right on the big screen.
For now, revel in the fact that Jon Bernthal is going to knock this role out of the park. This casting news is almost too good to be true. The wait for the first trailer has officially begun.