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.

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  1. Arthur says:

    Billy Russo is Jigsaw. Very much a foe.

    • Peter says:

      Maybe the Netflix version of Jigsaw starts off as a friend to Frank Castle, only to be revealed as an enemy over the course of the first season?

  2. J C says:

    Nice! Glad he’s finally getting some more recognition. He’s a very underrated actor.

    Well that character maybe a friend FOR NOW, but comic savvy people will know that will change.

  3. Joey says:

    If the Punisher is supposed to premiere in 2017, and Iron Fist was already revealed to premiere in 2017, is The Defenders being pushed back to 2018? I believe they said they only wanted to do two Marvel seasons per year…

    • Brian says:

      No matter what they are going to have to do 3 in a year whether it is Iron Fist/Defenders/Punisher next year or Punisher/Daredevil/Jessica Jones in 2018.

    • Erin says:

      I’ve seen several reports that Netflix has agreed to air 3 next year: Iron Fist bows in March; I’m guessing Punisher will be sometime over the summer, and Defenders likely next fall. Jessica Jones seasons shooting immediately after the Defenders wraps, so that will most likely be first in 2018, with Daredevil season 3 following.

  4. Tanya says:

    I’m very excited for Ben Barnes. I’ve been a huge fan of his for years.

  5. Steveo says:

    Try Googling the name!

  6. Elizabeth Anne says:

    I’m so excited for this! I just love Ben Barnes! I’m so happy for him with all the success and recognition he’s been getting. This new role looks awesome for him too.

  7. As Arthur said above, Billy Russo, AKA Jigsaw, is without a doubt a super-villain and generally accepted as Frank’s archenemy.

  8. Bill says:

    JIGSAW! Love it. Figured when the casting was announced, he kind of looks like jigsaw before he got cut