The Punisher solo series casts Westworld star Ben Barnes as a villain

It wasn't much of a surprise when a solo series for The Punisher was announced back in April - indeed, it felt like a certainty once audiences got a load of Jon Bernthal's memorably intense portrayal of Frank Castle - and slowly but surely the pieces are beginning to fall into place.

According to TV Line, Bernthal's anti-hero will be going up against Chronicles of Narnia alumni Ben Barnes. The site doesn't have any confirmed details on who Barnes will be playing, but scuttlebutt suggests that it could be Bobby Saint. If that villain sounds vaguely familiar, it's because the character appeared in the 2004 Punisher movie starring Thomas Jane and John Travolta.

Marvel has an insanely good track record when it comes to casting, and that's particularly true of their Netflix villains; As Wilson Fisk and Kilgrave, both Vincent D'Onofrio and David Tennant knocked it out of the park. Bobby Saint isn't as well-known, but that gives Barnes even more freedom to put his definitive stamp on the character (if that is who he's playing).

As far as we know Netflix are sticking to their two Marvel releases a year schedule, which means that The Punisher solo series is still a long way away. I'd put good money on Frank showing up for The Defenders though, and if that comes to pass it will be interesting to see if he makes for a temporary ally or foe. 

Images: Netflix/Universal Pictures

Amon Warmann

Amon is a contributing editor and columnist for Empire magazine, but is also a Film and TV writer for GamesRadar+, Total Film, and others. He has also written for NME, Composer Mag, and more, along with being a film critic for TalkSport. He is also the co-host of the Fade to Black Podcast, and a video mashup creator. Can also do a pretty good Bane impersonation.