Deborah Ann Woll will return as Karen Page in The Punisher season 2 on Netflix. The Netflix wing of the Marvel Cinematic Universe is in flux. Following a strong start, the streaming giant unceremoniously cancelled Iron Fist, Luke Cage, and Daredevil – their flagship Marvel series – with little warning and even less explanation. Fans of Netflix’s dark and gritty take on the street-level heroes of New York City still have Jessica Jones and The Punisher to look forward to, but their anticipation is overshadowed by the fear these shows will be cancelled after they launch their latest seasons.
Even though a prospective fourth season of Daredevil was taken out of the running, one of its main characters will return in the sophomore season of The Punisher. Deborah Ann Woll played Karen Page in all three seasons of Daredevil, as well as season 1 of The Punisher and the miniseries event, The Defenders.
In an interview with Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot on the set of season 2, the writer confirmed that Karen Page will make an appearance in the new season, and that she will play a key role in the continuing story of Frank Castle:
“We were shooting while Daredevil was shooting (its third season). Deborah has a huge part in that season… Deborah was very busy, and I didn’t know when I could get her into the show this time around. In the world of the show, that relationship continues to be very important.”
Considering her status as one of the most prolific characters in Netflix’s corner of the MCU (alongside Rosario Dawson’s Claire Temple, who has not appeared in The Punisher), it’s not entirely surprising to see Page pop up in the new season. However, Lightfoot’s statement gives the impression that Karen Page won’t be a regular cast member, and might even have a lesser role than she did in the first season, but he clearly intends to make every second count when it comes to Karen Page. It’s possible her role might be limited to a one-off special guest appearance. Karen Page played a key role in The Punisher‘s arc on Netflix, from his first appearance in season 2 of Daredevil to his own solo series, so it will be nice to see her check up on him once again in the new run of episodes.
Considering the shooting schedule of The Punisher (our set visit took place in late June), it’s highly unlikely that Karen Page’s role in the series has been altered to take into account the cancellation of Daredevil. Still, with the future of characters like Daredevil, Iron Fist, and Luke Cage in doubt, it will be bittersweet for fans of these cancelled shows to see Karen Page make any sort of appearance in The Punisher.
Perhaps Karen’s appearance on the show, like Iron Fist’s guest spot on Luke Cage, is an indication that, though the shows may have been cancelled before their time, the storylines of characters like Daredevil and Elektra will continue, one way or another, in a different corner of the MCU.