Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle in The Punisher

Is ‘The Punisher’ Coming Back?

Marvel rejuvenated all of our souls when they announced that Daredevil was coming back with a Disney+ TV series, Daredevil Born Again. The news came at SDCC 2022, nearly 4-years after the original Netflix series, Daredevil, was cancelled, despite receiving highly positive reviews. Viewers were content with the revelation that the two major Daredevil favorites, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin, would migrate over to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) for a second chance.

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However, the news has also left us tentatively questioning if there could be more. After all, Daredevil and Kingpin were only a small portion of Netflix’s Defenders shows. Marvel’s Jessica Jones was also a part of it, and its first season was one of the most critically well-received Marvel TV series of all time. Mike Colter also received recognition for his portrayal of Luke Cage in the TV series of the same name. Meanwhile, Jon Bernthal’s Punisher was yet another character who earned his own Defenders series.

Bernthal first debuted his Punisher in Daredevil’s second season. His performance as the vengeance-seeking vigilante, Frank Castle, was so iconic that he received his own solo series, The Punisher. The series was met with mixed reviews and was subsequently canceled after 2 seasons. However, Bernthal’s fans certainly haven’t forgotten his take on the character and with some of the Defenders stars receiving second chances, we’ve wondered if the Punisher might receive one, too.

Did Rosario Dawson confirm the Punisher’s return?

Unfortunately, Marvel has not officially confirmed that the Punisher is coming back. However, a misunderstanding led to fans thinking that Rosario Dawson confirmed his return. Dawson starred in nearly every single one of Netflix’s Defenders shows. She first made her debut in Daredevil as Claire Temple, a nurse who finds Daredevil beaten in a dumpster. She nurses him back to health and he later uses her position at Metro-General Hospital to his advantage. Temple turns up in Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and The Defenders, becoming a sort of specialized nurse for vigilantes.

While speaking at the Chicago Comic & Entertainment Expo on August 7, 2022, Dawson seemingly let it slip that Punisher was coming back. Dawson stated that she found out the other day, “that The Punisher was happening again.” She then went on to explain that it was the only Defenders series that she wasn’t a part of and, since she loves Bernthal, it’s like a second chance for her. Crossing her fingers, she asks the audience to collectively make it happen. Check out her statement below:

Social media immediately began buzzing following her statement, as many believed she had just accidentally confirmed the Punisher’s surprise return in the MCU. However, she followed up hours later on Twitter, retracting her statement. She was apparently told the news by fans during signings at the Expo, and, in her excitement, didn’t confirm that the news was accurate. This means the Punisher isn’t coming back for now, but it was kind of nice when we believed he was.

(feature image: Netflix)


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Rachel Ulatowski
Rachel Ulatowski is an SEO writer for The Mary Sue, who frequently covers DC, Marvel, Star Wars, YA literature, celebrity news, and coming-of-age films. She has over two years of experience in the digital media and entertainment industry, and her works can also be found on Screen Rant and Tell-Tale TV. She enjoys running, reading, snarking on YouTube personalities, and working on her future novel when she's not writing professionally. You can find more of her writing on Twitter at @RachelUlatowski.