There was a point last year where Ben Barnes was in talks to play a new superhero for Marvel Studios. Fresh off a run as the primary antagonist Billy Russo — also known as the disfigured Jigsaw — in both seasons of Netflix's The Punisher, the actor admits in a new interview he nearly bounced to Marvel Studios after his time working for Marvel Television. Speaking with DigitalSpy, Barnes admits he had talked to the team at Studios about playing an entirely new character in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, far separated from his work on The Punisher.
"I did talk to them about something this year, but it was a bit too close to doing The Punisher, I think, for them," Barnes revealed. "But, you know, they have proof that you can – particularly if it was on TV, you can go back and do a movie if there's a character that's right.
Barnes has a point there. Marvel Studios certainly hasn't been afraid to recast some actors should they find a new role on the movie side of things. Look at Mahershala Ali joining Blade after winning back-to-back Oscars. The Moonlight star had previously played Cornell "Cottonmouth" Stokes on Netflix's Luke Cage.
Though Barnes wouldn't elaborate what character the talks were about, he apparently did admit there might have been more than one character as a possibility. "I was definitely talking about a couple of superheroes last year," he continued. "No. It didn't work out for whatever reason, but definitely, there's still room for that in my future. As long as they hurry up. I don't want to be a 50-year-old superhero."
Using nothing but speculation, most would think Barnes very much looks the role of Marc Spector for Disney+'s upcoming Moon Knight. A few other roles that might pop to mind would that of Ikaris or Druig in The Eternals, or perhaps someone like Nightmare or Dracula in Doctor Strange 2 and Blade, respectively.
Both seasons of The Punisher are now streaming on Netflix. Upcoming Marvel movies include Black Widow on May 1, 2020, The Eternals on November 6, 2020, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings on February 12, 2021, Loki in Spring 2021, WandaVision in Spring 2021, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness on May 7, 2021, What If…? In Summer 2021, Hawkeye in Fall 2021, Thor: Love and Thunder on November 5, 2021, and Black Panther 2 on May 6, 2022. Announced properties without release dates include Blade, She-Hulk, Moon Knight, and Ms. Marvel.