The Russo brothers have every right to be an authority on the MCU. After all, they helmed The Winter Soldier, Civil War, Infinity War, and Endgame, so it’s safe to say they know what they’re talking about. That said, their hints that the Punisher played a key role in a Winter Soldier action scene sounds just a teeny bit far-fetched.
The notion dates back to a DVD signing in 2014, where Joe Russo strongly hinted that the driver of the yellow truck that takes out two HYDRA agents pursuing Nick Fury was Frank Castle all along. At the time Russo said:
“The man who drives that truck is very highly trained. He thinks on his own terms. He’s got a plan and a very specific skill set.”
We’re now almost a decade on from these comments, since then Jon Bernthal has made his MCU debut as the character in the Netflix MCU shows, and will soon reprise the role in Daredevil: Born Again. So, is this really Frank Castle? Fans over on r/MarvelStudios are debating the matter, and there are no easy answers:
Replies are skeptical, saying this “feels too unlikely,” and that it’s simply a random truck driver who couldn’t stop in time. Another says secret Punisher cameos seem to be a running joke between the Russo brothers, as they’ve also said Castle was hit by the bench Hulk threw after learning Black Widow died.
Another points out that this wouldn’t even make sense chronologically, saying that Daredevil season 2 takes place after this movie, so his crusade against crime hasn’t even officially begun.
We’re with the fans on this, and suspect Joe Russo wasn’t being entirely serious. Either way, we’re looking forward to seeing Bernthal dishing out some more violent retribution on Disney Plus soon.