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Netflix Is Making Big Changes to Its Punisher and Iron Fist Plans

By Cindy Davis | Streaming | November 3, 2015 |

By Cindy Davis | Streaming | November 3, 2015 |

Happy Tuesday, people; prepare to be excited and possibly disappointed at the same time. So far, we’ve been pretty darned happy with the Marvel/Netflix teaming. They’ve delivered a fantastic first season of Daredevil, and great teasers for their next outing, Jessica Jones. With a bevy of excellent actors and plans to air new Marvel series every six months, we’ve had absolutely nothing to complain about. Is that about to change? Maybe.

According to previous reports, Daredevil and Jessica Jones would be followed up by an Iron Fist series, and then The Defenders, though when the frequency announcement was made, Ted Sarandos (Netflix Chief Content Officer) did mention it was possible Punisher could get his own series. Lo and behold, it looks like Jon Bernthal has so impressed the folks at Netflix that foreshadowing is coming true, but in a different way than we expected.

According to Peel the Orange which cites a Marvel source, plans for an Iron Fist series have stalled, and after being “very pleased” by Jon Bernthal’s turn as Punisher in Daredevil, they’re seriously considering swapping in Punisher for Iron Fist. That doesn’t mean we won’t see Danny Rand (as yet uncast) and his alter ego at all; the source says Iron Fist will get his own Netflix movie. What it does mean though, is that Bernthal’s Punisher will likely replace Iron Fist in the upcoming Defenders series.

“Marvel can’t quite seem to figure out how to put Iron Fist into the equation and time is running out. They’re very pleased with Jon Bernthal’s portrayal of Frank Castle for Season 2 of Daredevil and know that the fans have a great appreciation for the character. They also know that a Punisher series would be much cheaper and more marketable. They have a contract with Netflix and have to do something. It appears that for this phase of shows, time is running thin for Iron Fist.”

That was PTO’s first report last week; now their source has confirmed the change:

“Marvel will be turning Iron Fist into a Netflix exclusive feature film. This will give Marvel extra time and a larger budget for this project. The Punisher will replace Iron Fist as one of the four Defenders.”

While I’m a big fan of Bernthal and happy to hear he’ll get his own series, there’s no doubt comic fans will have strong opinions about swapping in Punisher for Iron Fist in The Defenders. I suppose if they’re going to do it though, it was smart to make a move before the part was cast, and folks got attached to the idea of his series.

Get your grumblecheers on, starting now.

Cindy Davis, (Twitter)

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