“When you look at your ugly, mangled face, you’re gonna remember what you did.”
A brand new teaser for the second season of Netflix’s “The Punisher” dropped this morning, announcing that the season will be hitting Netflix on January 18. The teaser didn’t actually include any footage from the season, but it did give us our first look at actor Ben Barnes’s character Billy Russo reborn as Marvel villain “Jigsaw,” a scarred up version of his former self.
And you’re probably a bit disappointed by the way he looks, we’re thinking.
As you surely recall, Frank Castle memorably mutilated his former best friend in the final episode of the first season, repeatedly smashing his head into a glass mirror as revenge for the murders of his wife and children. Castle brutally brought Russo to the brink of death but kept him alive as punishment, unknowingly creating a whole new villain in the process.
For anyone who needs a reminder of how badly Castle mangled Russo’s face…
In the comic books, Jigsaw is horribly mutilated, his face quite literally looking like a jigsaw puzzle that’s been taken apart and put back together (thus the moniker). Back in 2008, director Lexi Alexander brought Jigsaw to the screen for the first time, casting Dominic West in the role. West’s Jigsaw looked quite like the comics, his face disfigured to the point of making him into a full-on horror villain (below). The practical makeup effects work was incredible, doing proper justice to the character. But the approach for the Netflix series, well, it’s quite different.
As teased by today’s video and a new image (below), Ben Barnes’s iteration of Jigsaw isn’t exactly mutilated to the point of man becoming monster. Rather, the Netflix series’s take on Jigsaw is that Barnes has become more mutilated mentally than physically. The scars on his face, despite the brutal beating he sustained in the Season 1 finale, are actually quite minimal.
The idea, you might have guessed, was to keep the series grounded in a degree of reality.
“The repercussions of that final fight are definitely marked on his face,” Ben Barnes recently told Den of Geek. “They carefully tried to figure out a way to have all the specific injuries from that fight represented on Billy’s face. What kind of actual scars are left behind from that? I mean, aside from the glass, he took a bullet ricochet to the cheek. So as with all of these stories, they’ve gone for a more grounded version of what that imagery would be.”
He added, “It’s not necessarily about his face. It’s about the psychological, which is the way they try to approach everything this season. Even more so than last season, it’s about what’s in his head. They didn’t necessarily want it to be a horror show. It’s about something more internal than that. We don’t actually refer to the character as ‘Jigsaw.’ Instead, he very much has a jigsaw puzzle in his brain.”
Sure does take away some of the impact of that gruesome Season 1 beating, eh? This version of Jigsaw hardly even looks like the same man who was dealt that brutal punishment, as the season 1 finale saw Russo’s cheek torn apart and his entire face turned into a bloody pulp. That he came away from that with minimal scars, well, that’s not exactly realistic.
In any event, here’s hoping Russo’s transformation is done proper justice in other ways.
(Oh and if you needed one, use this article as a reminder that Punisher: War Zone rules.)