After receiving plenty of praise for its previous Marvel Cinematic Universe shows, Netflix is set to release Marvel's The Punisher later this year. Many of the previous Marvel and Netflix outputs have tackled dark subject matter, and fans can expect The Punisher to do the same, according to one of its stars.
Ben Barnes recently spoke to Da Man Magazine about his role as Billy Russo/Jigsaw in the upcoming series. According to Barnes, The Punisher's doesn't let the fantastical nature of the larger Marvel Cinematic Universe - or even the enhanced abilities of Frank Castle's fellow Netflix heroes - get in the way of telling a very realistic story about trauma.
"I was really pleased at the grounded, tough approach to the material." Barnes revealed. "Our show is about men suffering tragedy and trauma; it's about a very real topic set in a world of superheroes — but no character in our show has superpowers and that makes it feel unique in this universe."
With Jigsaw in particular, Barnes also addressed the pressure of creating a character that rivals fan-favorite Frank Castle, who was already introduced in Daredevil's second season.
"It was a great challenge to find a character to appear opposite the Punisher. When a character is compelling and violent and charismatic like that, the challenge is to find the qualities that will balance him out or complement him."
While Barnes has made a name for himself on the small screen in shows such as HBO's Westworld, he revealed that a weird challenge arose from bringing a character to life with some - but not a lot - of comic book notoriety.
"It's a nice badge to be included in the universe we know so well, certainly. All actors imagine if they were a superhero or villain, which one would it be? In my case, it's not one I ever thought of but it's nice to be able to define one without too many expectations of how he should be!"
The Punisher debuts on Netflix this November.