A brand new rumor claims that Marvel Studios is developing a new Punisher series and has already begun working on the script.
Not only does this rumor claim that a new Punisher series is in the works, but it also claims that Frank Castle could debut in the upcoming Moon Knight series on Disney Plus.
This new rumor comes from Small-Screen.
First, it claims that Marvel Studios is aggressively negotiating with Jon Bernthal to have him reprise the role of Frank Castle.
Small-Screen claims, “The word around the Marvel camp is that Jon Bernthal really wants to play The Punisher again but has been negotiating hard on the contract.”
The scooper then notes, “They’re developing a series for The Punisher and desperately negotiating to have Jon Bernthal come back to play Frank Castle.”
Small-Screen’s source would go on to provide details about this Punisher series.
The source stated, “It sounds F***ing bad ass! It’s looking like it’ll be pretty violent – like the Netflix show. I think it’ll be the MCU’s most violent show yet. It won’t be a continuation from the previous show though. It sounds as though it’ll be a new start – probably in an alternate timeline.”
Now, here’s where the rumor gets a little dodgy. Small-Screen claims his source told him that this Punisher series is “going to be a HARD R. Really violent and gory.”
On top of that, Small-Screen notes “that Frank Castle will be kind of a villain at the start. And he’ll be on the run.”
Marvel Studios has not produced a TV-MA series yet. The Falcon and the Winter Soldier and Loki received TV-14 ratings. Wandavision received a TV-PG rating.
The Punisher series on Netflix did receive a TV-MA rating. However, that series was under the Marvel Television banner, not Marvel Studios.
Back when Disney acquired Deadpool, the Fantastic Four, the X-Men, and the other 20th Century Fox Marvel characters, then Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated that an R-rated Marvel brand could be launched.
He said at the time, “[Deadpool] clearly has been and will be Marvel branded. But we think there might be an opportunity for a Marvel-R brand for something like Deadpool. As long as we let the audiences know what’s coming, we think we can manage that fine.”
Kevin Feige would also address the idea of TV-MA or R-ratings for Marvel Studios characters in February of this year. As reported by Deadline the Marvel Studios boss stated, “I think we target everything we’re doing for kids and adults, so I think your question is more adult or R-rated.”
He continued, “Other than Deadpool, which has already established itself as a certain genre and a certain rating, that we already said we would not mess with when we started working on Deadpool — which we have — other than that, we haven’t encountered a story or a storyline or a character’s journey that a PG-13, or the tone, or the ratings we’ve been using up to this point has prevented us.”
He further stated, ” We haven’t been held back by. If we ever are, than certainly there can be a discussion that can be had now that there’s other outlets like Star. But that just hasn’t been the case. We’ve told all the stories that we wanted to with the tonality and the rating we have now.”
Nevertheless, the rumor goes on to state that The Punisher might actually arrive in the current Marvel Cinematic Universe sooner rather than later as Simon’s source noted he could appear in Moon Knight saying “Like a cameo or something.”
In fact the source also claimed, “Just know that Bernthal, Cox and Ritter are pretty much dead certs for the MCU and might be involved in multiple shows and turn up – maybe – in some of the movies.”
This isn’t the first time a rumor has surfaced regarding The Punisher. Back in June, Geekosity’s Edwin Francisco claimed that The Punisher would also arrive in Moon Knight.
Francisco noted, “The Punisher will face Moon Knight on his Disney Plus series.”
Specifically, The Punisher will be hunting down Moon Knight believing him to be a criminal. Interestingly enough, Francisco also noted that Jon Bernthal would reprise his role as The Punisher.
Later in June, Francisco would also claim that Marvel Studios was developing a Punisher series for Hulu.
This followed a scoop from March from Geekosity’s Mikey Sutton that Marvel Studios was looking to create a live-action Punisher with Jon Bernthal and they were “considering Punisher War Journal as the title.”
On top of that Sutton indicated that Marvel Studios was looking to make the Punisher’s foes for this new series “more comic accurate.”
Sutton first claimed that a Punisher series was in the works back in July 2020. He noted at the time, “Marvel Studios intends to bring back Bernthal; however, it doesn’t mean the new series will follow the continuity of the Netflix program especially when the multiverse can now explain it away. Or it can they will simply not refer to it.”
He added, “Secondly, the show could be called Punisher War Journal, just as the ’80s comic book.”
What do you make of these new rumors regarding the Punisher and Jon Bernthal?