Netflix’s The Punisher series is bubbling under the surface and is closing in. Just as Thor: Ragnarok and Justice League prepare to pummel the box office, The Punisher is continuing upon a wave of comic book inspired offerings that began in earnest a year ago.
However, unlike the other offerings, The Punisher exists in a world of death, pain and unrealized redemption. Actor Jon Bernthal plays Frank Castle aka The Punisher, a former special forces soldier whose family is killed by conspirators due to what he is believed to have known about an extrajudicial act against the people of the United States.
Recently I talked to actor Jason R. Moore about his role in the series, the influence comic books had on him as a youth, and what it’s like being a black man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Known throughout New York City as The Punisher, Frank Castle must discover the truth about injustices that affect more than his family alone. Marvel's The Punisher premieres globally November 17, only on Netflix.
“I knew about the Punisher since childhood,” said Moore. “I didn’t read every comic book, but I definitely knew about The Punisher. As soon as I got the role I read up to see how much of Curtis was out there. Then, I wanted to find out how much the showrunner would use that material. There wasn’t much out there of the character to begin with. Then I had to find out what was important to him in relation to the other characters.”
Moore’s character is Curtis Hoyle. First appearing in The Punisher #1 (Vol. 2), Hoyle and Castle served in the same unit during war time but Hoyle would eventually try to betray Frank. Through the first six episodes of the series, which is slated to debut November 17, Hoyle is a most ardent and trustworthy friend who is adept at keep Castle’s secrets.
Bill Russo, head of Anvil Corp, also fought in the same unit as Hoyle and Castle. The life of The Punisher is filled with betrayal and it doesn’t take a genius to realize one of these men will eventually betray him.
I asked Moore what we can expect down the road.
“That’s gonna be an interesting thing to watch as it unfolds. My loyalty is with both camps. Something about Frank is more immediate. Billy is successful, he has been able to act in the interest of society and is doing well for himself. The relationship with Frank is more secretive. My character is a bit more of a counselor on the show. So, I can see things about people that they’re unable to see about themselves. It’s a pretty interesting dynamic between that buddy triangle there. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but you know that somebody is going to get betrayed.”
After exacting revenge on those responsible for the death of his wife and children, Frank Castle uncovers a conspiracy that runs far deeper than New York's criminal underworld. Marvel's The Punisher premieres globally █████ 2017, only on Netflix. Watch Marvel's The Punisher: https://www.netflix.com/title/80117498 This trailer features "One" performed by Metallica.
The Shadow League: What were some of your favorite characters growing up?
JRM: Growing up, I read comic books. The Hulk was one of my favorites, Wolverine was another one of my favorites. The reason I gravitated to the Hulk, Wolverine and characters like that is because they had anger issues. I always believed that anger could lead to people doing extraordinary things if channeled correctly. Anything that had color, I was watching it growing up. Cartoons, and pretty much comic books, I was all into. I fell out of them as I got older, got more resources, and things like that. But it was always a childhood thing, comic books and characters with superpowers.
TSL: What was your reaction when you got that call?
JRM: As an adult getting the call saying you get to play in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? C’mon, man! I was on 10. It took awhile for it to hit me but it was a dream job for an actor. Being able to work on something that gives you this childhood exuberance is a joy.
As a black guy in this universe, I’m so glad to see that it has expanded outside of just comic books. The movies, television, Luke Cage, Black Panther, all of this is just great. I’m happy to be a part of it and I really hope it continues to grow.