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Is the Punisher making his MCU return soon? Jon Bernthal's co-star Rosario Dawson says so (then said 'no')

During her C2E2 Spotlight panel, the Night Nurse actor seemed to suggest that Jon Bernthal would be coming back with a new series.
Jon Bernthal as Punisher
Marvel Studios
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Editor's Note: Updated August 8.

Marvel Studios is infamous for keeping everything under wraps on pain of death – but that didn’t stop Rosario Dawson from potentially spilling some major beans about an upcoming project at C2E2 that is likely to make a lot of fans very happy.

Hours later, however Dawson walked back the statement.

During her spotlight panel on Sunday afternoon, Dawson told fans that she had just heard that the Punisher was coming back, and that she was thrilled. "I found out yesterday that the Punisher was happening again, so I feel like it's my second chance." she said. She was particularly excited because it was the one Marvel series of the original MCU Netflix shows that she hadn’t appeared in as Claire Temple, AKA Night Nurse.

Hours later (around 2:30am Monday morning), Dawson tweeted out that she spoke in error. "I can’t be trusted…!" Dawson tweets. "Getting intel from fans during signings is iffy apparently. My bad. I get excited. Confirmation is key when you’re told what you want to hear…"

Must have been a crazy couple hours for Dawson, as news of what she said was trending on social media (and on Popverse) while the panel was still underway - and into the night. I wonder if she got a call from someone at Marvel as well?

That being said, Marvel has slowly been folding characters (and actors) from the Netflix shows into the MCU over the past couple of years, following the shows’ conclusions at their original home. Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock was the first to make the jump in last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, with Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin following immediately after in the final two episodes of the Disney+ Kingpin series. Both are scheduled to reappear very soon, with Matt Murdock (and Daredevil) scheduled to appear in the upcoming She-Hulk: Attorney at Law series, and Kingpin being part of the Echo show. Furthermore, at San Diego Comic-Con, Marvel announced Daredevil: Born Again, an 18-episode series for Disney+, which is expected to feature both Cox and D’Onofrio.

Rosario Dawson at panel at C2E2

These rumors, especially highlighted by Hollywood veteran Rosario Dawson taking them as fact and repeatig them, is far from an official announcement, but it certainly raises expectations about just what Marvel might announce at D23 Expo next month in Anaheim. (Yes, Popverse will be there; yes, we’ll let you know what happens as soon as it’s announced.)

Jon Bernthal played the Punisher starting in the second season of Netflix’s Daredevil in 2016, before playing the role for two seasons of a Punisher series, which ran from 2017 through 2019. Back in December last year, he told the Hollywood Reporter that the character had a “real, real, real deep, deep meaning for me and resonance in me,” adding, “He’s really in my heart, man. He’s really in my bones. I’m enormously protective of that character.”

That wasn't the only surprise that Dawson had for Chicago audiences; during the panel's Q&A portion, she also teased an upcoming DC project, saying, "I'm crossing streams." No further details were forthcoming, but the project will give Dawson a rare trifecta, placing her in the MCU, DCEU, and Star Wars universe via her role as the live-action Ahsoka.

So far, Dawson hasn't said anything further about that announcement from C2E2.


Keep track of this and all the news that's come out this weekend in Chicago with Popverse's C2E2 coverage round-up.

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About the Author

Graeme McMillan avatar

Graeme McMillan

Staff Writer

Popverse staff writer Graeme McMillan (he/him) has been writing about comics, culture, and comics culture on the internet for close to two decades at this point, which is terrifying to admit. His work has appeared in The Hollywood Reporter, Wired, Polygon, Inverse, Time Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times, and he also co-hosts the Wait What podcast three times a month and writes the Comics, FYI newsletter. He completely understands if you have problems understanding his accent.

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