Marvel officially announced three new cast members for Marvel’s The Punisher today. The next in the standalone series for Netflix recently began filming and is rumored to premiere at some point in 2017.
Confirming our earlier speculation, English actor Ben Barnes is officially playing Billy Russo. He’s described as “Frank Castle’s best friend from his days in the Special Forces.” Since the two have been out of the military, Russo has formed his own private military corporation called “Anvil.” In the comics, Russo was a mob enforcer known as “the Beaut” for his handsome looks. He ran afoul of Castle, who put his face through a heavy glass window, grossly disfiguring him. Russo became known as the villain Jigsaw, and he’s considered the Punisher’s archenemy in the comics.
No word if Russo will become Jigsaw in the series, but it seems a safe bet.
Joining Barnes and returning star Jon Bernthal, Ebon Moss-Bachrach will play David Linus Lieberman, known as Microchip in the comics. Going by the name Micro for the series, Lieberman is “a former NSA analyst whose secrets may be of great value to Frank Castle and everyone around them.” Moss-Bachrach is best known as playing Desi on HBO’s Girls. The name of Micro was introduced during Castle’s last appearance in the second season of Marvel’s Daredevil. Frank returns to his house to retrieve a hidden disc with the name scrawled on it.
Also joining the show is Amber Rose Revah as Dinah Madani, a “highly-trained, sophisticated Homeland Security agent who is vexed by the Punisher.” Madani is an original character for the series, not having appeared in the comics. Revah is known from her work as Saddam Hussein’s daughter in the 2008 miniseries House of Saddam, Mary Magdalene in the movie Son of God, and the British series Indian Summers.
Speaking of the additions, Punisher showrunner Steve Lightfoot was quoted:
“I’m really excited about the cast we’re assembling alongside Bernthal as Frank Castle,” said showrunner and Executive Producer Steve Lightfoot. “I look forward to watching Ben, Ebon and Amber embody these characters and breathe vivid life into the story we are crafting for this season of ‘Marvel’s The Punisher.’”
Up next for Marvel and ABC Studios on Netflix is Marvel’s Iron Fist, premiering on March 17, 2017. Production on the crossover miniseries Marvel’s The Defenders is slated to begin in November and the show is expected to air in mid or late 2017.