Today, Netflix confirmed that the newest superhero series it is working on, Marvel’s The Punisher, will debut in 2017. The streaming service also announced three new actors who would be joining the production, including Ben Barnes as the Punisher’s best friend, Billy Russo.
Punisher star Jon Bernthal (who first appeared in the second season of Daredevil) ignited rumors that the stand-alone series might be closer to debuting than previously thought after mentioning it was already in production. With the confirmation that the series will be available to stream in 2017, the question arises if this will push back The Defenders. Netflix has previously stated that it doesn’t want to release more than two Marvel series a year, and Iron Fist is also scheduled to debut in 2017.
Polygon has emailed Netflix for a statement about the status of The Defenders and will update when more information becomes available.
For now, however, it looks like Netflix is ready to put all of its eggs in Punisher’s basket. On top of Barnes joining as Billy Russo, Ebon Moss-Bachrach will play Micro. Described by Marvel as a “former NSA analyst whose secrets may be of great value to Frank Castle and everyone around them,” the character appeared in the Punisher comics as an ally of the Punisher, Microchip. The last actor joining the cast is Amber Rose Revah who will play Dinah Madani, “a highly-trained sophisticated Homeland Security agent who is vexed by the Punisher.”
Marvel has not announced when Punisher will premiere on Netflix, but considering Iron Fist debuts in March, there’s a good chance fans of the Punisher will have to wait until much later in the year.