The Meaning of Metallica in Netflix's 'Punisher' Trailer

Warner Music Group, Netflix

The long-awaited trailer for Netflix’s The Punisher solo series is finally here. But if you’re curious about the head-banging metal joint that soundtracks Frank Castle’s murderous rampage across Hell’s Kitchen, look no further. The song is Metallica’s 1988 single “One,” which was released on their politically-charged album …And Justice for All. The song, which is explicitly an anti-war song, is a very interesting choice for the iconic vigilante.

What Happened

On September 20, Netflix unleashed the trailer for The Punisher, the semi-sequel to Daredevil starring Jon Bernthal (The Walking Dead) reprising his celebrated role of Frank Castle. The trailer heavily features the Metallica song “One,” which seems destined to enjoy a renewed appreciation following the trailer.

What It Means

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to “One” and what it means for Frank Castle. In general, …And Justice for All, one of Metallica’s first breakthrough albums, is an explicitly political piece that is loaded with songs about censorship, social injustice, and a strong distrust in major institutions.

“One,” the final single from the album, is based on the 1971 film Johnny Got His Gun, which tells the story of a severely injured World War I soldier whose arms and limbs have been blown off and has lost all of his senses. Now a prisoner in his own body, the subject is desperate to be released from his pain. It’s not hard to imagine Frank Castle, an army vet who feels betrayed by the country he served, to feel like the soldier James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich imagined.

Marvel’s new series is portraying a different Frank Castle than audiences have seen before. While other Punisher movies have shown Frank embark on a personal journey of revenge, the MCU’s Frank Castle is a rebellious anti-government warrior who is pivoting his position from the hunted to the hunter. In the trailer, Frank knows he’s being pursued — by Homeland Security, by the FBI — so he seeks the help of his buddy Microchip to take the fight to them.

So not only is “One” a dope as hell song that plays well with stuff blowing up, it’s also meaningful for the highly-anticipated show’s central anti-hero.

What’s Next

Playing Metallica on repeat until The Punisher finally premieres.

Marvel’s The Punisher will be released on Netflix later this year, but the exact date is still tbd.

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