Warning! Some mild spoilers ahead for The Punisher season 2.
Is this the end of the road for Frank Castle?
Season two of Marvel's The Punisher premiered on Netflix on Friday, giving fans another look at the bloody adventures of the titular antihero, played by Jon Bernthal, as Frank slaughtered his way through another round of bad guys in the pursuit of violent justice.
The season wraps up with Bernthal's character renouncing almost all of his human connections, choosing what he feels is an inevitable path as the merciless vigilante, but could there be more story to tell? It seems unlikely that The Punisher will be renewed for a third season, given the fate of its fellow Marvel shows on Netflix. Daredevil,Luke Cage and Iron Fist were all cancelled last year, and Jessica Jones is the only remaining Defenders 'verse series with a season in the works.
"The truth is we don’t know," said Ben Barnes -- who plays Billy Russo, Frank's former brother-in-arms who becomes one of his most menacing adversaries -- of a possible season 3. "I’ve been buddies with Charlie Cox for a long time. I binged the third season of Daredevil and thought it was terrific, so it’s obviously got nothing to do with the quality of a show. I don’t know what it does have to do with... I will say I think there’s a satisfying conclusion to the season."
"But I think that we made this show not knowing about any of this stuff, and we wanted to make a really satisfying, interesting, fresh show, that was not season one," he added. "But [there was] no concept that it is the end of anything."
'The Punisher' Season 2: Jon Bernthal on How Frank Castle Gets Pulled Back In (Exclusive)
"The truth of it is, when you’re filming, you’re so busy. We have six months where everything else goes to the side," added Amber Rose Revah, who plays Homeland Security Agent Dinah Madani. "You’re so busy and you’re working so hard to try and get this show and this season and each episode this season to be the best that it can be.... So if it is [the end], who knows, but this season will be great."
Even though Barnes' character ultimately met his bloody end at the conclusion of the second season, he was adamant that there's more to The Punisher story than may initially meet the eye, additional layers that could make for interesting follow-up seasons, should they be granted by the powers that be.
"All of these characters are connected in the same way. They have all suffered traumas, they are all finding ways to deal with those traumas, to get to where they want to go," Barnes noted. "They recognize each other’s physical and emotional and mental scarring, which is what kind of connects them all. And there’s a very fine line between intimacy with somebody and love or hatred and vengeance and justice. These themes are kind of quite intricately sewn together."
"You could almost take the Punisher and the Marvel and the superhero element out of it, and it would a show about broken people seeking justice in what whatever ways and how their lives interconnect. I think that’s like the second layer down of our show."
And the cast would certainly be thrilled to work together again. Bernthal couldn't help but gush about series newcomer Giorgia Whigham, who plays Amy Bendix, a young woman with a troubled past who Frank becomes an unwitting protector of after saving her life in a sinister bar fight.
"I can’t say enough good about Giorgia," Bernthal raved to ET. "I was really blown away by how committed she was, on set and off... That’s something that I really admire and I really respect and it’s extraordinarily rare, I think, for young actors. I’m really grateful for it. We got really lucky, she’s a beautiful actor, beautiful person. I’m gonna be in her life, whether she wants me or not, from here on in."
"Yeah, we got super close," Whigham agreed. "I think there was a lot of trust involved in the work, and that is one of the most important things you can ask for when you’re working with other actors... We just got really tight. I love him."
The Punisher season 2 is currently streaming on Netflix.