Ben Barnes is fully aware of how fans used to picture him as Shadow and Bone‘s Darkling before he was even officially cast in the role. Barnes’ breakout role came in 2007’s The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, where he played the titular royal. Over the years, he moved on from the family-friendly fantasy world and notched roles in television shows like Westworld and Marvel’s The Punisher. Netflix’s Shadow and Bone is his latest TV performance; he plays the mysterious General Kirigan, the leader of Ravka’s army. Fans of the books the series is based on will know he sometimes goes by another name: the Darkling.
It turns out Barnes is not unaware of his former status as the ideal Darkling fancast. While speaking to the New York Post about Shadow and Bone, Barnes admitted he knew of the online conversations, as well as Bardugo’s own support of his casting. “There was some chatter even a few years before the show — Leigh Bardugo had supported the idea of me playing that character,” he said. “I sort of felt a bit kismet that I was supposed to do it, in some way.” The fans that called this years ago would likely agree with him.
Now one has to wonder if Barnes is aware he’s also a popular pick for a younger Sirius Black within the Harry Potter fandom. Clearly, many fanbases are interested in getting Barnes involved, but he’s only stepped into a handful. With Shadow and Bone, he’ll be put into an interesting position, as the Darkling is a character who has both many fans and many detractors. It will be interesting to see how fans respond to Barnes’ performance, though the early reviews of Shadow and Bone have already given a thumbs up.
Shadow and Bone has yet to be renewed for a second season, but it is clear Netflix has some high hopes for it. The series already has a strong fanbase among those who enjoyed Bardugo’s books, and there is definitely more story to be told. After waiting so long for the perfect Darkling, it would be a shame if Barnes only got to play him for one season. Time will tell if he will get the chance to continue with the character beyond the initial eight episodes.
Shadow and Bone premieres Friday, April 23 on Netflix.
Source: New York Post