The Marvel Universe hasn’t really dealt with the idea of a true “anti-hero” yet. The Guardians like to call themselves “a-holes” and kind of do the “work for hire” thing, but they’ve never tried to make someone who is legitimately not a good person the central figure of their series. Marvel and Netflix are looking to change that at the end of this year with The Punisher. Star Jon Bernthal recently spoke to MovieFone about how they are going to approach a complex character like Frank Castle.
“It’s an interesting predicament. To put him as the central character is interesting. I think that my big struggle with him is that one of my biggest kind of things that I’m always fighting for on set is, I always want to preserve the essence of Frank, and have the right and be bold enough to really turn my back on the audience, and not do things to win the audience’s favor, but rather stay true to the character and the essence of who he is.”
Bernthal wants to make the Frank on screen true to the character, but he also understands that Frank is not someone to look up to or aspire to:
“I think Frank is brutal. Frank is damaged. Frank is tortured. I think Frank, when he engages in violence, there’s something utterly satisfying and addictive for him to be doing that, and that may not be something that the audience can agree with or get behind. But I’ve always fought to preserve that, and I think that that’s a part of him. I think the pain and what’s behind the violence and the reason why he’s committing the violence, that’s a different story. I want to explore that, too.”
Exploring what causes Frank to do what he does, while also making sure that he isn’t painted as a hero is something that the production is keeping in mind:
“So I think that’s the real challenge: being bold enough to not make him too heroic, at least “heroic,” is important to me. That being said, I think there’s Frank Castle inside of everybody. I think being a father and being a husband, he’s a character that I deeply empathize with.”
The Punisher will stream to Netflix in late 2017.
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