Back in the days when Marvel characters freely roamed Netflix, Jon Bernthal’s introduction as the Punisher was both a highlight and a kind of thrown gauntlet. There is no way to really feature Frank Castle and his bloody, grim mission for revenge against the criminal world without a pretty high body count, and the Netflix show proved it. Our recent report that Jon Bernthal would be reprising his version of the Punisher in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was already exciting enough, but there is more. According to our trusted and proven sources, Jon Bernthal’s new Punisher series will have a whopping eighteen episodes and will be rated TV-MA.
This makes a lot of sense for both the character and for Disney’s (and by extension, Marvel Studios) increasing desire to create darker, more mature content. A Jon Bernthal Punisher show would be an ideal way for Marvel to show that they are willing to get gritty and violent, even if it does inevitably cause some dropped monocles and cries of “what about the children” from the usual suspects. The TV-MA rating (under the United States TV Parental Guidelines) indicates that the content is not intended for anyone under 17, which is a pretty big percentage of Marvel’s viewing audience.
That then raises the question of whether a new Jon Bernthal Punisher show will be streamed on the Disney+ platform or Hulu, which is also owned by the Walt Disney Company. It seems that Disney has been increasingly moving Marvel-related content to Disney+, as seen when it reacquired the rights to the shows produced by Netflix. The inclusion of Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Iron Fist, Luke Cage, Defenders, and the first Jon Bernthal Punisher show marked the first time Disney+ would host TV-MA shows. It is also noticeable that more and more Marvel shows originally produced by Hulu have been canceled, including Cloak & Dagger, Helstrom, and M.O.D.O.K. If Disney continues this trend, we can probably look forward to Jon Bernthal savagely murdering criminals as the Punisher there.
On the other hand, Jon Bernthal gunning down criminal after criminal after former comrade-in-arms in a Punisher show might be a bridge too far for Disney+, leaving it to be aired on Hulu. The latter platform typically streams more mature content in general, so there is a decent chance that Disney will try to avoid as much parental group ire as it can and show Punisher on Hulu.
As we have reported, we should be seeing Jon Bernthal reprise his role as the Punisher on the upcoming Daredevil: Born Again show starring Charlie Cox and Vincent D’onofrio. Anticipation has been high for a new Daredevil project since the Devil of Hell’s Kitchen showed up in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so it makes sense that they will go in will all guns blazing (as it were) with guests like the Punisher and very possibly Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, Elden Hanson’s Foggy Nelson, and Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page.