For a while, Netflix refused to confirm rumblings of a possible Frank Castle-centric series in development, but the streaming service eventually gave a formal announcement earlier this year following the success of the character’s debut in Daredevil season 2. Now, as the heroes of Hell’s Kitchen are preparing to join forces for the Defenders miniseries event, casting on The Punisher is underway with Ben Barnes coming aboard.
Netflix declined to offer comment to Collider for this story, but TV Line states that Barnes, known for fantastical roles in The Chronicles of Narnia, Stardust, and the more recent Seventh Son, has been cast in a series regular role. Details on his character are still unknown, but the report cites a rumor linking the actor to Bobby Saint, the corrupt son of a ruthless crime boss who was played in the 2004 Punisher film by James Carpinello.
Here’s what we know of the series so far: Steve Lightfoot (NBC’s Hannibal) was appointed showrunner and executive producer of the first season order, as well as the writer of the first two episodes. Jon Bernathal will reprise his role of the gun-slinging, vengeance-driven Frank Castle, who drew in Lightfoot for his “complexity and unpredictability,” as he said in a press release.
It’ll be interesting to see if the rumors of Barnes is true, since the character didn’t last very long in the Punisher movie. It also may hint at a possible storyline: the possible presence of Bobby would seem to indicate his father, Howard Saint, as well. In the meantime, we’ll see Barnes in HBO’s Westworld, another out-of-this-world tale.