Jon Bernthal says he has no interest in playing a watered-down version of the Punisher in the MCU

By Stephen Ippolito | December 4th, 2021

Between rumors of Charlie Cox appearing as Matt Murdock in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin showing up in Hawkeye, it seems that Marvel Studios is about to reintroduce certain characters from the cancelled Netflix Marvel shows. One actor that fans would love to see return is Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle (AKA The Punisher).

Because they’re owned by Disney, if the studio did decide to bring in Bernthal’s Punisher, it would more than likely have to be a less violent version.

During a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Bernthal was asked about the possibility of playing a PG-13 version of the character in the MCU.

“That character, in particular, has real, real, real deep, deep meaning for me and resonance in me,” he began. “He’s really in my heart, man. He’s really in my bones. I’m enormously protective of that character. I’ve said before that there’s nothing in this world more important to me than my wife and my kids, and only until you understand that kind of love and what it really means to willingly die for somebody, [do you understand] what it would be like if somebody took them from you. That’s a road and a darkness and a rage that really, really scares me and brings me to places that I’ve worked the last 20 years to get away from. So I was really grateful, respectful and weary of the places where that role took me and the world in which I had to live in.”

“That being said, that’s where that character needs to be. It needs to be a level of darkness,” he continued. “I think if there’s any let up on that character, you do a disservice to the character, to every iteration of the character, to every comic book that’s come before, and to all of the unbelievable fans of the character. This character means so much to people in the military. So like I said before, it’s not about whether you do the character; it’s about whether you can do it right, and I’m only interested in doing it right.”

Other than Deadpool 3, the studio doesn’t have any plans on adding more R-rated content in the future. So unless Bernthal has a change of heart on doing a watered-down version of Frank Castle, it doesn’t look like will be seeing him in the MCU anytime soon.

Personally, I would rather not have the Punisher in the MCU if he’s less violent. For characters like Daredevil and even the Kingpin, it’s possible to do an entertaining and less brutal take on both roles. The Punisher though? You can’t really do it.

Who knows, maybe down the line, Marvel Studios will come around on doing more rated R/TV-MA projects. Will just have to wait and see.

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