Jon Bernthal's portrayal as The Punisher in Netflix's Marvel universe was perfect. Much like Charlie Cox as Daredevil, it's almost impossible to see anyone else as Frank Castle. However, fans are torn on who he should play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
On one hand, fans are dying for Bernthal to return to the role of Frank Castle. On the other hand, another vocal selection of fans want the actor to play Wolverine. As it turns out, the actor has some pretty concrete thoughts on both subjects.
MCU Frank Castle must be “gritty” for Bernthal to love it
Netflix's Marvel universe was nothing if not gritty. Focusing on the street level heroes like Daredevil, Luke Cage and Jessica Jones, the shows were not afraid to get dark. That darkness powered the violent-but-emotional Punisher series, and Jon Bernthal truly shined in the show.
Talking to Forbes, Bernthal explained that he wants Frank Castle to stay dark and gritty. While the actor doesn't say if he'll turn down a watered-down Punisher, he does want the character to retain his darkness. He said:
“I’m really grateful that I had the opportunity, and what sort of happens in the future isn’t about whether they want to do it or not again. I don’t really prescribe anything to those kinds of decisions. It’s just about, if they do do it, are we gonna be able to do it right? Is it gonna be dark enough... gritty enough? Are we gonna give the fans, and the folks that this character means so much to, what they deserve? And if the answer is yes, man oh man, I would love that.”
Jon Bernthal prefers playing Punisher over Wolverine
In the very same interview, Bernthal discussed the frequent fan casting of him as Wolverine. Obviously, the clawed mutant is almost inseparable from Australian actor Hugh Jackson. However, it's unlikely that Jackson will return for the MCU’s version of the character.
The Punisher actor explained that he's not against playing Wolverine, but he would much prefer to play Frank Castle again. As long as the script is good, Bernthal would play Wolverine. However, The Punisher is important to him. He said:
“Look, the criteria in which I sort of decide what I’m doing next is: Does the script move me? Who am I working with? Who is the filmmaker and is that somebody I’m dying to work with? I’m going to hold onto that moving forward no matter what that is.”
“I get it, I get that the Marvel questions, you’re asking these questions because it’s super important to a lot of people; people love these characters and I get that and I come to that with absolute respect. What I will tell you again is that Frank Castle is in my bones. Frank Castle is in my bones.”