Cookies help us deliver our Services. By using our Services, you agree to our use of cookies. Learn More.

Jon Bernthal Opens Up About The Possibility Of Returning As The Punisher

For more than three years, the role of Marvel's Punisher consumed Jon Bernthal's life. The man would eat, sleep, and breathe as Frank Castle — to the point where it was changing the way he looked at his family and existence off-screen. 

"That character, in particular, has real, real, real deep, deep meaning for me and resonance in me," Bernthal explained in a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, which comes off the debut of his new movie, "King Richard," starring Will Smith. "He's really in my heart, man. He's really in my bones," Bernthal said of Castle. "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 understand what it really means to willingly die for somebody, and 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."

With all that said, would Bernthal ever actually consider returning to "The Punisher" role after it had such an emotional effect on him? His answer is a complicated one.

Bernthal would play Punisher again if 'done right'

Jon Berthnal's last outing as Frank Castle came in "The Punisher" Season 2, which aired on Netflix in 2019. While it's been nearly three years since he's donned the black and white, the former "Walking Dead" star says he'd return in a heartbeat to the role so long as it's "done right" — with a level of rage and darkness previously seen in his other performances. 

"That's where that character needs to be," Bernthal told The Hollywood Reporter. "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," the actor added. "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."

Rumors have swirled for years about bringing Bernthal's Punisher and other Netflix characters from Marvel Comics into the MCU fold, with the most recent speculation centering around Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock character aka Daredevil. Some reports have claimed that Cox will be making an appearance in the upcoming "Spider-Man: No Way Home" film, though Marvel has yet to confirm this. Cox, himself, has remained mum about the possibility. He told Uproxx in September that fans would "just have to wait and see what happens."