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– by David Kozlowski

It took Jon Bernthal more than a decade to achieve his overnight success. Pinballing through two dozen TV shows and films before his breakthrough, when he was cast as Shane Walsh in Robert Kirkman’s The Walking Dead on AMC. Bernthal used this break as a springboard to propel him into minor roles and bit parts in acclaimed films like The Wolf of Wall Street, Sicario, and Fury working with filmmakers like Martin Scorsese, Denis Villeneuve, and David Ayer. Bernthal’s characters are almost always coiled springs, men of extreme emotional and physical intensity — and his career is just getting started.

Last year Bernthal appeared in Marvel and Netflix’s Daredevil Season 2, as Frank Castle (aka The Punisher), a decorated, Marine Corps, combat veteran whose life is turned upside down when his family is killed by drug dealers. The Punisher is a complex character that many have written off as one-note, another mindless killer. However, Bernthal brought Castle to life by embracing and investing in the character’s military background, which proved a revelation. The performance was spot-on and so well-received that Netflix almost immediately greenlighted a spin-off series: The Punisher (debuting this fall on Netflix).

Related – Jon Bernthal Talks The Punisher

Just as with The Walking Dead, Bernthal channeled his Frank Castle success into a series of roles in films like Baby Driver, Wind River, and The Accountant. He has another dozen films coming out in the next two years, including a full season of The Punisher too. Hollywood is finally starting to catch onto the fact that Bernthal has leading man potential, and TrackingBoard reports that he’s been cast as NASA Astronaut, Dave Scott, in the Neil Armstrong biopic First Man, co-starring Ryan Gosling (Blade Runner 2049), Claire Foy (The Crown), Kyle Chandler (Zero Dark Thirty), and Corey Stoll (Ant-Man).

First Man is based on the book by James R. Hansen, which describes NASA’s first lunar landing and focuses upon Armstrong between 1961-1969. Bernthal’s character, Scott, walked on the moon in July 1971 as part of the Apollo 15 mission — only one of a dozen humans who’ve set foot on the surface.

Bernthal should fit the part perfectly, he already seems like a classic tough guy from the Vietnam era; he is also a former minor league ballplayer who claims to have broken his nose 13 times to-date. Bernthal exudes the kind of bottled-up rage and penchant violence of early Bronson and DeNiro, and thanks to parts like Shane and Frank Castle there’s every chance we’re looking at the next big Hollywood action hero!

Are you ready to see The Punisher land on the moon? Let us know in the comments down below!

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SOURCE: TrackingBoard

David Kozlowski is a writer, podcaster, and visual artist. A U.S. Army veteran, David worked 20 years in the videogame industry and is a graduate of Arizona State University's Film and Media Studies.