The landscape of streaming platforms continues to change as companies try to find the best ways to deliver their programming to viewers. We are watching Warner Bros. Discovery is making a lot of changes with HBO Max, and now Paramount+ and Showtime, previously two separate platforms, are looking to merge. As with HBO Max, these changes led to the cancellation of several Showtime projects, including John Bernthal’s American Gigolo. We don’t know what awaits the actor next, so… maybe he will return to the Punisher.
As it turns out, at the same time that THR reports that “American Gigolo” is not moving forward with a new season, we know that “Daredevil: Born Again” is preparing to begin filming a large-scale season of 18 episodes, which is expected to take the rest. years to complete. Bernthal probably wouldn’t be able to participate in such a show with his other responsibilities, but now that he’s free of them, maybe there’s a chance?
If filming starts very soon, then we can assume that the script for “Daredevil: Born Again” is basically complete. It’s probably too late to do a massive redesign to include Frank Castle if the character hasn’t been there from the beginning yet. And it’s even possible that Bertal’s cameo role was already planned in Born Again, which he could play even during the filming of another show. Of all the characters from the old Netflix Marvel series that fans wanted to see, Bernthal’s Punisher is probably second only to Charlie Cox’s Daredevil himself, and it was in the old Daredevil series that the Punisher first appeared.
Knowing that Marvel’s Netflix heroes could once again become canonical MCU characters, it’s at least possible that Bernthal could return as the Punisher, but with his other responsibilities in the series, it would probably be difficult for him to return to a large extent. Now that hurdle has been removed, so if Marvel Studios really wants to bring back the Punisher, the actor will probably be able to make that deal if he wants to come back. In the past, Bernthal has implied a willingness to return if the character is treated correctly.
At some point we will almost certainly see the Punisher in the MCU, and the only question is who will play that role. While the return of Charlie Cox as Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin shows a willingness to bring back actors who have played roles before, we simply don’t have enough sample sets to know if this will be the exception or the rule. We don’t know if Marvel Studios wants to bring Bernthal back, but if so, now is the chance to do so.