Consequences are Relative in the New Trailer for ‘The Punisher’

Frank Castle’s world is bloody and brutal and haunted, and we can’t wait for it.
By  · Published on September 20th, 2017

Frank Castle’s world is bloody and brutal and haunted, and we can’t wait for it.

Just when you think Marvel’s excruciatingly wonderful marketing campaign for The Punisher couldn’t get any better, a full-length trailer for the much-anticipated Netflix series dropped today. Just a few days ago, some found footage of Frank Castle (Jon Bernthal) was unearthed, wherein he professes, “I’m coming for you,” before seemingly breaking a dude’s neck. It’s intense and seemingly without context, but this new trailer is shedding some light on everything we’ve seen so far.

“I’m gonna kill them all.”
“Yeah, I can live with that.”

It is clear that beneath Frank’s tough facade lies trauma and mourning. There’s a softer side to Frank right at the beginning of the trailer as he reminisces on life with his wife and children before they are murdered. He cracks one of the few genuine smiles audiences likely to see in such a broken man. Frank gets into character as The Punisher too, guns loaded and iconography spray-painted onto his bulletproof vest. There is plenty of bloody footage to satiate action fans. Yet, overall, it is obvious that like other Marvel/Netflix ventures, there is going to be a good deal of angst underpinning all that violence. Frank being an antihero in the truest sense of the word automatically sets a harsher tone for The Punisher as a series. He takes no prisoners, and it’d do us well not to like him too much, let alone trust him.

All the teasers have shown us the danger fueling Frank’s warped quest for justice, but there is also a different side of him to contend with. As much as he tries to stamp emotions out, they evidently get the better of him. Interestingly enough, aside from flashbacks to Frank’s family, there is only a glimpse of Karen Page (Deborah Ann Woll), who is often cited by cast members as the closest person Frank is able to identify with ever since he went off the deep end. Even from his time on Daredevil Season 2, Bernthal has detailed a special connection between both characters, and thinks Frank sees Karen as, “courageous, independent, bold and caring.” Woll has also commented to Entertainment Weekly:

“Frank has a soft spot in Karen’s heart, and certainly with the dark history that Karen has, there are very few people she can share her authentic self with,” Woll explains. “Frank is someone who she could potentially fully open up to.”

According to Bernthal, Frank’s characterization in The Punisher is dependant on several questions: “What do you do when [the mission is] over? What do you find out about yourself when you realize there’s nothing left? What is his purpose?” Balancing Frank’s past self — his once caring nature — and his focused approach to a personal brand of no-holds-barred justice is key to keeping the series afloat. It’s got us wondering just how the series can get as dark as it’s supposed to while maintaining certain vital emotional anchors for Frank.

We need that release date now, Netflix!

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Sheryl Oh often finds herself fascinated (and let's be real, a little obsessed) with actors and their onscreen accomplishments, developing Film School Rejects' Filmographies column as a passion project. She's not very good at Twitter but find her at @sherhorowitz anyway. (She/Her)