'The Punisher' Season 3 Could Bring Back a Popular Marvel/Netflix Villain

The future is bleak for [The Punisher Season 3] (https://www.inverse.com/article/52588-the-punisher-season-3-netflix-release-date-or-cancel). Netflix already canceled Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Iron Fist, and Frank Castle is probably next. But until then, the series’ showrunner and star are free to dream about more episodes beyond Season 2, and in a recent interview, Punisher boss Steve Lightfoot revealed his plans for Season 3, assuming it ever gets a release date.

Warning: Spoilers for The Punisher Season 2 below.

There wasn’t a major cliffhanger at the end of Season 2. Yes, it ended in such a way that Frank’s story could continue as The Punisher, but fans weren’t left with a pile of unanswered questions that begged Netflix to renew it. That’s probably for the best, since the chances for a Season 3 renewal are looking pretty slim at the moment.

In recent interviews, Punisher star Jon Bernthal sounds resigned to the show’s grim fate. In fact, if we didn’t know any better, we’d think these quotes were coming from the Punisher himself, rather than the actor who plays him.

“I know the reality of the situation and I’m at peace with it,” he told Variety.

But Lightfoot is a bit more optimistic about the chances of Punisher Season 3, suggesting that high viewership could save the series even when it failed to keep Daredevil afloat.

“My hope is that the show does well enough that they want to pick it up,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “No one has said to me we’re canceled.”

In the Season 2 finale, Frank has a final confrontation with John Pilgrim (Josh Stewart) and kills Billy Russo (Ben Barnes), leaving those two villains behind him. Madani (Amber Rose Revah) then tries to recruit him for the CIA, but he tells her he already has a job. That job is being the Punisher.

It’s serendipitous that the Season 2 finale can serve as both a starting point for what comes next in Frank’s journey on-screen and a decent endpoint if The Punisher doesn’t come back. It finished the season before the slew of Marvel cancellations, Lightfoot told Entertainment Weekly.

“My philosophy is always make every season like it could be your last,” he said.

The Punisher Jon Bernthal
Jon Bernthal stars as Frank Castle on 'The Punisher.'

But if there is a Season 3, Lightfoot knows what will happen next on The Punisher.

“That final image [of the Season 2 finale] was meant to say, very much, ‘Look, Frank is now the Punisher,’” Lightfoot said to Comic Book. “The theme of [Season 3] is seeing Frank, now he has fully embraced the mantle of the Punisher, where that takes him and what problems that throws up for him as he follows that path.”

The showrunner even knows at least two characters he’d like to see appear.

“Obviously Daredevil and Punisher have a lot of history and story between them in the comic books,” he told Heroic Hollywood. “Also villains like the Kingpin, who was featured in quite a lot of the Punisher books as well.”

There’s also history for those characters in the Marvel Netflix shows. Frank first appeared on Daredevil before getting his own spin-off, so it would be fitting if The Punisher Season 3 gave Matt Murdock one last chance to appear on-screen.

Though Bernthal was hesitant to talk too much about what he’d like to see for his character moving forward, he did tell EW that he wants to keep exploring the relationship between Frank and Karen (Deborah Ann Woll), who first crossed paths on Daredevil.

“More Karen, for sure,” he said. “See where that would go.”

For now, all The Punisher fans can do is wait and hope that Netflix doesn’t cancel the series — though, it’s best to prepare for the worst.

The Punisher Seasons 1 and 2 are now streaming on Netflix.


Related video: The Punisher Season 2 Release Date Revealed in New Trailer

Frank Castle and Billy Russo's Season 2 journeys are teased in 'The Punisher' trailer
Media via Netflix