Production on Marvel’s The Punisher is nearing a start date and, as such, casting news is starting to emerge. Ben Barnes (The Chronicles of Narnia, Dorian Gray and the upcoming HBO series Westworld) has been added to the cast in a key role.
Barnes looks to be filling the role as the series antagonist, but details on just who that is remain scarce. Although it’s worth noting that TVLine, who was the first to break the news, says they’ve heard Barnes may portray Bobby Saint, a character that was seen in 2004’s The Punisher. That casting seems unlikely, however, as the Marvel shows tend to draw heavily from the comics and Saint was a character designed specifically for that film.
Through a series of audition videos, we were able to begin hashing out some potential antagonists for the show and one that came to mind, but that was by no means a slam dunk, was William Rawlins. Given the shadowy nature of Castle’s past and how it was handled in Daredevil, Rawlins is a strong possibility for a very interesting Season 1 antagonist. While fans are sure to wish for a more traditional Punisher baddie like Jigsaw or Barracuda, the audition videos didn’t seem to indicate those characters. That’s not to say they couldn’t join the fray as well, but I’d expect someone with some military/agency background to go up against Castle based on what we saw.
Old rumors had Marvel’s The Punisher filming this fall alongside The Defenders, which is set to go into production relatively soon. While a release date hasn’t been announced officially by Netflix, they did seemingly suggest it’ll hit sometime in 2017 as they had the series has (had?) a release date of 2017 listed on mobile viewers.