Recently, The Punisher star Ben Barnes announced that he’d love to play Batman at some point. Having impressed superhero fans as Frank Castle’s nemesis Billy “Jigsaw” Russo on the Marvel/Netflix show, the British actor’s name has now been added to the ever-growing list of people that could potentially be the next version of the Dark Knight on the big screen.
To give us a flavor of what Barnes might be like as Batman, prolific fan artist Boss Logic has created a new piece that casts him as Bruce Wayne. Showing the character’s split identity, one half of the artwork depicts the Batsuit while the other shows Barnes as a pretty grouchy-looking take on the playboy billionaire.
When you think about it, playing Russo on The Punisher could be seen as a great audition for portraying Batman. Like Bruce, Billy struggles to maintain his fractured identity and in season 1 leads a double life between being a successful businessman and his less law-abiding nighttime activities. Of course, Russo’s a lot more evil than Batsy, but you get the point.
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At the age of 37, Barnes is also roughly in the right range to play the lead in The Batman. As we all know by now, Ben Affleck will not be returning for the Caped Crusader’s first solo movie in the DCEU, with director Matt Reeves said to be looking for a much younger replacement for the Batman V Superman star – someone in their late 20s/early 30s.
We haven’t heard anything about Barnes actually having any discussions with Reeves or Warner Bros., but we could certainly see it happening. After all, while Armie Hammer was recently declared the odds-on favorite to don the cape and cowl next, his career trajectory doesn’t really seem to support that. Other names flying around include Jack O’Connell, Jake Gyllenhaal and Jon Hamm (an outsider chance because of his age, but he’s still a popular fan choice), but Barnes would be a solid candidate and we’d have no problem with him being the next Batman.