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Are Jon Bernthal/Punisher/MCU Rumors Just History Repeating Itself?

"I hadn't heard that announcement, but I found out yesterday that 'The Punisher' was happening again. So, I feel like it's my second chance because that's the only one of the shows I wasn't in, and I love Jon Bernthal. So, let's all make it happen collectively, guys." Those were the words spoken by Rosario Dawson back in August during a C2E2 panel when she was asked if she would ever return to her role as Claire Temple, aka Night Nurse. That would be the all the "confirmation" that fans would need to confirm that Jon Bernthal's Frank Castle/The Punisher would be joining the MCU. Except, there was one major problem. Turns out Dawson was speaking as if it was confirmed & a known thing based on what fans told her earlier at the event. "I can't be trusted…!" Dawson wrote in a follow-up tweet. "Getting intel from fans during signings is iffy, apparently. My bad. I get excited. Confirmation is key when you're told what you want to hear." Well, nearly three months later, it would appear another unconfirmed rumor tornado is swirling around Bernthal once again and picking up steam on social media. Except it's hard to connect the dots.

Jon Bernthal as Frank Castle in "Marvel's The Punisher" season 2. (Photo courtesy of Netflix)

In the past 24 hours, an individual posted an image of himself posing with Bernthal that included this line in the caption: "Looking forward to working with you… During Marvel Phase 5!!" Now, folks are jumping on this to be some kind of "social media confirmation" that Bernthal will be joining the MCU in much the same way that Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onforio did. But we're still kinda lost on how this person is connected to Bernthal the way folks online are saying he is. He has an IMDB link that leads to a profile with one film listed and nothing in regard to being a trainer, a fitness expert, a nutritionist, or anything like that. And yet, this thing has blown up in ways that are making my eyes bleed ever so slightly. Look, I'm not saying the post may not end up being right… but can someone show me any real dots that I can start connecting?

Back in October 2021, Bernthal shared some thoughts on the rumors of the Netflix MCU returning and how he would feel about another go as Frank Castle, aka The Punisher. Here's a look at some of the highlights from his interview with Forbes.

On Those "Daredevil"/Netflix MCU Return Rumors: "Honestly, I have no idea. That isn't just the standard [answer]. I just deal with a lot of these things; I'd sort of, in a way kind of be the last to know. I just don't think the question is about whether they're going to do it; it's going to be about how they do it and whether we can do it in a way the character and the fans deserve. And again, if the answer is 'Yes, that would be amazing."

On Who Influenced Him to Join the Netflix MCU: "Number one, the first reason why I really wanted to be on that show, on 'Daredevil' [was] because I saw Charlie's [Cox] monologue in the first episode of the show and I just saw the way in which they were approaching the work. I was like, 'This is a world I want to play in.' Then I saw [Vincent] D'Onofrio, and I was like, 'Holy crap. I've got to be a part of this.' Then I dove into who Frank Castle was and 'The Punisher.'"

When It Comes to the MCU, It's All About Frank Castle for Bernthal: "Look, as far as going on in the future, it's a character that I really feel like that I have in my bones and in my heart. I'm really grateful I had the opportunity [playing Frank Castle], and what sort of happens in the future isn't about kind of whether they want to do it or not again; I don't really prescribe anything to those kinds of decisions," he explained. "It's just about if they do it, are we going to be able to get it right? Is it going to be dark enough? Is it going to be gritty enough? Are we going to give the fans and the folks that the character means so much to, are we going to give them what they deserve? If the answer is 'Yes,' man, oh man I would love that."

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Ray FlookAbout Ray Flook

Serving as Television Editor since 2018, Ray began five years earlier as a contributing writer/photographer before being brought onto the core BC team in 2017.
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