With Luke Cage a few weeks away, it’s the main focus in the Netflix side of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Of course, we know they’re also hard at work on as many as five new series on top of that. We’ve heard little about the spin-off based on The Punisher, but that’s about to change. A new report states Ben Barnes has signed on to the show, cast as the villain of the series.
TV Line is reporting the Westworld actor has signed on as a series regular. The article claims that Barnes will play Bobby Saint, a character created for the 2004 Punisher film. Saint feels like an odd choice for the series, it’s not like Frank Castle is short on potential villains. However, could we be in for more news soon?
The Punisher is rumoured for a 2017 release, thanks to Netflix themselves. Should this casting news prove to be true, then we should expect the series next year. Recent Marvel series have followed a similar pattern, casting actors a month or two before they begin shooting. The first casting news for Luke Cage was seen in August 2015, while Iron Fist rounded out its cast within a month for an April 2016 shoot. Rarely do we get any casting moves long before production gets rolling.
The Punisher would also mark a third Marvel series of 2017 on Netflix alone, should it start filming soon. That’s something the streaming giant’s chief Ted Sarandos said would not happen. The denial over a move from two to three series a year came over the summer, but that can always change. The positive feedback towards Jon Bernthal in the role may have pushed this series up the list of priorities.
Season 1 of Luke Cage lands on Netflix September 30, with Iron Fist and The Defenders set to follow next year.