Ben Barnes The Punisher

Ben Barnes' Punisher Role Revealed

He’s friend not foe!

Netflix is now confirming what we reported last month: Westworld actor Ben Barnes is joining Marvel’s The Punisher as a series regular, although he will not be playing an antagonist to Jon Bernthal’s titular vigilante (aka Frank Castle), as we speculated. Rather, the English actor has been cast as Billy Russo, Frank’s best friend from his days in the Special Forces. Billy runs a successful private military corporation called Anvil.

Viewers got their first look at Bernthal’s gun-toting antihero in Season 2 of Daredevil, which dropped last March. Netflix formally pulled the trigger on a Punisher-centric series one month later (although the project was unofficially greenlit back in January). Hannibal scribe Steve Lightfoot will serve as showrunner.

For those keeping track at home, The Punisher marks Netflix’s sixth Marvel series, following Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the upcoming Iron Fist and The Defenders.

The Punisher is slated to bow in 2017.