Looks like things are still busy with Netflix and the Marvel camp. Luke Cage just dropped on Netflix, Iron Fist is currently filming and even the Punisher has started filming in Brooklyn. So far both shows have kept a pretty good lip on casting roles, and a few weeks ago Ben Barnes was cast for the Punisher Netflix series.
However, his particular role was undisclosed. Rumors from so-called reliable sources reported that Ben was going to play Bobby Saint, a character from the first Thomas Jane Punisher movie back in 2004. When I first read about that speculation, I immediately thought, WTF? Seriously?
Well, thank God that ended up not being true. It's been recently confirmed that Ben Barnes will be playing Billy Russo. However, it seems that Marvel TV will muck things up with this character.
As most know, Billy Russo was a hitman for New York's underworld until he was tossed through a Maggia night club window by the Punisher. The act shredded Russo's face and he became Jigsaw.
Well, in Marvel TV land, Billy Russo is Frank Castle's best-friend from the military and runs a private military corporation called Anvil. Now, I can sort of see why they made this move.
Daredevil dealt with mobsters, Luke Cage dealt with mobsters and Punisher dealing with mobsters might have been overkill. However, sticking to the comics would've definitely been a good way of introducing Marvel's more street-level mobs, but it doesn't look like Russo will have his mobster roots in Netflix's Punisher.
I do not doubt that this Billy Russo will eventually become Jigsaw. It's too good to pass up, and if that is neglected I can see the uproar of Punisher and comic fans being overly vocal.
So as I recommended quite some time ago, Billy Russo first shows up as Jigsaw in Amazing Spider-Man #162 back in ole 1976. The character was created by legends Len Wein and Ross Andru.
This is not Billy Russo's first on-screen debut. The character was the main villain in the movie Punisher War Zone, and the notable Punisher villain was played by Dominic West in the flick.
Though Dominic West plays a great heavy in most movies he's in, the translation of the character from panel to screen was fouled up and made to look cheesy in the 2008 Punisher War Zone movie. We shall see how Netflix and Marvel TV tackle the character that I've always thought was a no-brainer if Punisher was to hit the live-action world again.
That's not all on the Punisher side of things though. We all got a hint of Microchip at the end of Daredevil season 2, and the character will be in the Punisher show and played by Ebon Moss-Bachrach.
The character is an associate of the Punisher and often builds him weapons, and supplying the no-nonsense vigilante with tech and intelligence as well. While the comics had Micro as a computer hacker, it looks like the show has pinned him as a former NSA analyst whose got the nitty-gritty of value to Frank Castle and his punishing exploits.
The character in the comics debuted in the first on-going Punisher series with issue #4 back in 1987. He is one of the most recognizable and fan-favorite supporting characters in the Punisher mythos. Micro's origin was detailed in the two-issue Punisher: Origin of Microchip comic series.
Actor Amber Rose Revah has been confirmed to be in the Punisher series as well. The actor is playing Homeland Security agent Dinah Madani. Looks like she'll be playing a game of cat and mouse with the Punisher in the series.
As far as I know, it seems like her character isn't based on anyone from the actual comics and most likely was created for the show. Punisher is pushing on through and continuing to build on the success of Netflix's dark and gritty take on Marvel's more street-level heroes and villains.