Netflix's The Punisher just announced the castings of Josh Stewart (Shooter), Floriana Lima (Supergirl), and Giorgia Whigham (Scream) while confirming that Ben Barnes will return as Billy Russo, aka Jigsaw. The Punisher wasn't a surprise hit, but it was surprising how big of a hit it was and a second season was announced by Netflix and Marvel within weeks of the premiere. According to a new report, production is set to begin in the next few weeks in New York City.

The Punisher Season 2 has cast Josh Stewart as John Pilgrim, a man whose calm exterior belies a ruthless interior. Despite having left behind a life of violence, circumstances will force him to use his old skills and bring him into Frank Castle's (Jon Bernthal) world. Floriana Lima will portray Krista Dumont, a smart, compassionate and driven psychotherapist for military veterans. And Giorgia Whigham plays Amy Bendix, a street-smart grifter with a mysterious past. Whigham's Bendix character first showed up in the Punisher War Zone comics in 1994.

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The new castings seem to point that Season 2 will be a loose adaptation of Garth Ennis' 2005 to 2006 Marvel Comics stories The Slavers. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot has also expressed interest in the Barracuda as the villain, which puts the show in the right timeline, if they decide to bring him in for the second season. It has also been announced that Ben Barnes' Billy Russo character will return, but it isn't clear if he'll be back as Jigsaw yet, though it was hinted at the end of Season 1. The Slavers is a pretty dark storyline and would be fitting for The Punisher Season 2.

Though not much is known about the new characters, except for Giorgia Whigham's Amy Bendix, the mysteries are intriguing. Showrunner Steve Lightfoot talked about his excitement of bringing Josh Stewart, Floriana Lima, and Giorgia Whigham on board for The Punisher Season 2. He had this to say.

"We are incredibly excited to have Josh, Floriana and Giorgia joining the cast of Marvel's The Punisher and seeing them bring their talents to the next chapter in the Frank Castle story."

Jeph Loeb, head of Marvel TV also released a statement praising the talents of the newcomers to Season 2. Loeb added that he can't wait for fans to see what The Punisher Season 2 has in store for them.

No official release date has been set for The Punisher Season 2, but rumors suggest that we could see the show as early as the end of this year, which would be excellent and would also follow the same release pattern as Season 1. As previously noted, production is expected to begin soon and should last until this summer. This is a developing story and more news is expected to drop soon. In the meantime, you can check out the original report at Deadline.