×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Daredevil’ Producers, Jon Bernthal Talk New Season and Introducing the Punisher

Netflix premiered the second season of Marvel’s “Daredevil” last night at New York’s AMC Lincoln Square 13. The intense second season both introduces new characters — including fan favorites the Punisher, played by Jon Bernthal, and Elektra, played by Elodie Yung — as well as new showrunners, as series writers Douglas Petrie and Marco Ramirez have taken the reins from former showrunner Steven S. DeKnight, who took over for series creator Drew Goddard.

“We were both on Season One, and we loved what Drew and Steven were doing, so continuing from what they were doing felt very natural,” said Petrie, who had worked with both of the previous showrunners as part of the writer’s room for “Buffy the Vampire Slayer.” “We didn’t feel any pressure, except for the internal pressure of, ‘let’s get this right and let’s have the fun we want to see.'”

Both in comics and onscreen, “Daredevil” tells the story of Matthew Murdock, played by Charlie Cox, a blind lawyer by day and vigilante by night, who fights crime with super senses and lots of shockingly brutal fight scenes — while wrestling with the moral conflict of whether it’s okay to take the law into one’s own hands. The comic series has some of the most beloved supporting characters and villains in the Marvel catalog, but so far the series has been parceling elements from the books out slowly, with Season One mainly focusing on Vincent D’Onofrio’s character Wilson Fisk.

“It’s an exercise in artful restraint, I think, in how we introduce them,” Ramirez said. “It feels like we’re very conscious of mixing in ingredients organically, and we’re fans too, but we didn’t want it to feel like we were rushing towards things fans might want. We wanted it to be accessible to people who didn’t know the source material, and maybe didn’t know the characters before.”

For the first part of the season, “Daredevil’s” main adversary is the murderous vigilante Frank Castle, better known to fans as the Punisher, a former soldier who takes to gunning down criminals with surgical precision after his wife and children are murdered by a gang. The character has previously appeared in three little-loved films and is clearly a tricky one to present properly, as the character can easily come off like a mass shooter if not handled with care.

“It’s tricky, and we tried to be very sensitive. Our code in the room was, ‘let’s stay as true to Frank Castle’ … we didn’t even call him Punisher in the writer’s room, we called him Frank Castle, similar to Season One of ‘Daredevil.’ It was very helpful for us to talk about Wilson Fisk, and not the Kingpin,” Ramirez said. “We thought about him as a man with a vendetta, who made an oath to his dead family. The more specific it got, the less it became about issues outside of Hell’s Kitchen or other things.”

While Murdock can be violent, he draws the line at murdering people, and much of the season sees him trying to stop Castle’s killing spree. Audiences can decide for themselves whether they are #teamdaredevil or #teampunisher, but Petrie said the writers know where they stand.

“We think that taking human life is wrong. And I think for Matt, he’s so tempted to do that,” said Petrie. “This is something we talk about a lot, that his Catholicism informs him so deeply. Early on in the season, we had Matt have a conversation with his priest about why it’s wrong to take a human life, any human life, and I think that’s guidepost as he goes through the season.”

As played by Bernthal, best known for his work on “The Walking Dead” and “The Wolf of Wall Street,” Castle is a formidable opponent for “Daredevil,” and Bernthal hones in on both the character’s formidable skills and emotional void.

“I’ve said it before, there’s no way I could have played this role if I wasn’t a husband and I wasn’t a father. Until you truly understand what it means to love something more than yourself, and to happily to give your life for something else in this world,” Bernthal said. “To really understand that, you come close to beginning to understand what it might be like to lose that love.

“I think it starts there,” Bernthal continued. “I will say, my way of working is to dive into a dark space — I think the character deserves that. I think it’s a character that means an enormous amount to a lot of people. It’s a character that resonated with law enforcement, the military, guys have gone into battle with the Punisher insignia on their body armor, people died for this country with that insignia on their equipment, so that’s something I take super seriously,” Bernthal said. “And I think it did require some serious isolation, and some pretty dark days. His life is over; it’s really important to dive into that fully.”

After the premiere, the cast attended an afterparty at Skylight Modern, a New York nightclub that had been decorated with the logo for Josie’s Bar, Murdock’s favorite watering hole.

More Digital

  • Terry Back chairman ACF

    Veteran U.K. Media Investor Terry Back Joins ACF as Chairman

    CANNES — Veteran U.K. film industry investor Terry Back has joined ACF investment bank as chairman. ACF, headed by CEO Thomas Dey, has been at the forefront of the M&A activity around independent TV and film production outfits, mostly in the unscripted TV arena. ACF is in the midst of expanding its activities in the [...]

  • Jay Frank

    Jay Frank, UMG Senior VP and Digital Music Veteran, Dies at 47

    Universal Music executive and digital music veteran Jay Frank died Sunday after a battle with cancer. He was 47. UMG chief Lucian Grainge remembered him in a message sent to the company. “Dear Colleagues,” it reads. “I’m deeply saddened to tell you that our colleague and friend Jay Frank has passed after a recurrence of [...]

  • Sam-Colby-The-Graveyard

    YouTube’s Sam and Colby Unveil ‘The Graveyard’ Paranormal Series Set in London

    Sam and Colby, YouTube’s favorite DIY paranormal investigators, headed to the U.K. for their next big ghost-hunting project. The duo today released the trailer for “The Graveyard,” a four-part docu-series shot in The Langham – by legend, London’s most haunted hotel – and an abandoned church graveyard. The project is their first international expedition. The [...]

  • Santos Dumont

    Mipcom: International TV Output Picture Changing for U.S. Majors

    The global import-export strategies of the U.S. majors are in flux as the world’s major content companies gather this week in Cannes for the annual Mipcom market and conference. Disney, WarnerMedia and the other handful of media conglomerates that control the vast majority of the U.S. market are in the midst of a radical transition [...]

  • Babylon Berlin

    ITV-Backed Streamer Cirkus to Launch European Drama Service Kritic (EXCLUSIVE)

    SVOD outfit Cirkus is expanding with Kritic, a new service programmed with premium non-English-language drama. The first launch will be in Sweden in December and feature big-ticket shows such as “Babylon Berlin” from Germany and “Gomorrah” from Italy. Cirkus has established itself in the Nordics and German-speaking territories. Kritic will roll out in Sweden before [...]

  • Mama K's Tesm 4

    Time Travel, Child Hosts, Diversity Build in Kids Shows, Says Glance Study

    CANNES —  More or less the only thing that hasn’t changed in Avril Blondelot’s MipJunior presentation of Kids Audience Successes Around the Globe was Blondelot herself. As well as, which she began by reporting, that “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “SpongeBob SquarePants” and “Miraculous Ladybug” – in that order – still dominate the rankings for the [...]

  • Activision Blizzard

    Activision Blizzard Stock Recovers From Hong Kong Fallout

    Activision Blizzard saw its stock recover Friday despite continued backlash over its decision to punish a “Hearthstone” player for publicly siding with Hong Kong’s pro-democracy protesters. The company’s share price was up more than 2% Friday, closing at $54.82. Activision had been in the spotlight ever since Ng Wai Chung, a player of its “Hearthstone” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content