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Marvel's The Punisher Jon Bernthal

Film & Television

Why Jon Bernthal Almost Passed on The Punisher Role

With a key appearance on Season 2 of Marvel’s Daredevil, as well as his own solo series on Netflix, Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of Marvel’s The Punisher is now widely known to Marvel fans. What might not be widely know, however, is that Bernthal nearly passed on the role for a very specific and interesting reason.

In a recent interview with Variety, Bernthal revealed:

“Fully candid, being part of a superhero franchise was not something that I really had an ambition towards; it wasn’t really on my radar. A lot of the people that I really admire, actors that I really look up to have avoided that whole thing.”

Reviews for the show were mixed, but some were complaining about the show being too violent. Specifically, gun violence was an issue for some. In a separate interview, Bernthal commented on that issue, saying:

“…I think art, sort of the best thing that art can do is be a mirror to society and reflect what’s going on and make you ask questions, force you to ask questions not necessarily try to answer them and I think one thing that the show does and you know in talking to Steve [Lightfoot,] I’m not even sure whether he did this on purpose or not — Steve’s the writer — but I really think that there’s nothing preachy about this show.”

He added:

“…let’s be honest, we put off the premiere of this show because of gun violence in this country and now the night before we premiere there’s been another bout of it. There’s been 900 gun deaths since Vegas, you know. There’s clearly an issue. We clearly have a problem and what we need immediately I think is some open dialogue on it.”

If you’ve seen the show, you already know it presents issues from both sides of the spectrum regarding this issue, so it definitely wasn’t a “preachy” show. Here’s hoping we can get a second season of the show, as showrunner Steve Lightfoot already has potential Marvel villains in mind for it.

Marvel’s The Punisher is currently streaming on Netflix.

What do you think of Bernthal’s comments? Could you imagine anyone else as The Punisher at this point? Be sure to tell us your thoughts in the comment section!

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