'The Punisher' star Ben Barnes could be perfect as the next James Bond

TOPSHOT - Wax figures of James Bond actors (L-R) Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan are presented at the Madame Tussauds wax museum...

The 36-year-old was exceptional in his role as Billy Russo alongside Jon Bernthal.

British actor Ben Barnes arrives for the British Premiere of his latest film The Chronicles of Narnia-Prince Caspian, in London's Greenwich , on June 19, 2008. AFP PHOTOBritish actor Ben Barnes 

*WARNING - May contain spoilers for Netflix's 'The Punisher'*

After much debate, rumour and conjecture Daniel Craig has confirmed he will be staying on as James Bond at least one more time.

Previously it looked as though he would be stepping down from one of Hollywood’s most iconic roles after Spectre but he is now set to reprise his excellent portrayal of a British icon one more time.

However, the time is clearly drawing near when Craig will decide to hang up his bowtie. That has led to plenty of rumours over who the next Bond should be. Idris Elba, Tom Hiddleston, Tom Hardy … the list of British male actors linked with the role is endless.

Idris Elba during The Best FIFA Football Awards Show on October 23, 2017 in London, England.Idris Elba during The Best FIFA Football Awards Show on October 23, 2017 in London, England.

But after watching Marvel’s latest Netflix outing ‘The Punisher’ there can only be one man for the role. Ben Barnes was imperious in the show as the villainous and conflicted ex-Marine Billy Russo.

Barnes, best known for his role as Prince Caspian in the Chronicles of Narnia and the title character in the 2009 Dorian Gray adaptation, put in a masterful display. Whilst Jon Bernthal rightly earned most of the plaudits for his intense portrayal of the titular character, Barnes was superb as his former best-friend turned enemy.

US actor John Bernthal poses for photographers on the red carpet as he arrives for the European premier of 'Fury' during the closing night gala of the London Film Festival in London on...US actor John Bernthal 

He played the character’s glib and borderline psychopathic obsession with climbing the power ladder with aplomb. There was a swagger about his action scenes as well, the way he carried himself, that had a definite Bond aura.

At times he played intense, which could play into the hands of a Craig-esque Bond character, but he also had the smarminess and cheek to be a lighter-hearted Bond - a Pierce Brosnan or Roger Moore type, if you will.

TOPSHOT - Wax figures of James Bond actors (L-R) Roger Moore, Timothy Dalton, Daniel Craig, Sean Connery, George Lazenby and Pierce Brosnan are presented at the Madame Tussauds wax museum...Wax figures of James Bond actors 

It was however the way he portrayed Russo’s lack of remorse and sycophantic ways which would surely make him an excellent choice for the iconic role.

As for the looks, there’s no doubt he has that. His slight and long frame looks equally dashing in a suit and tactical gear. He could give Bond a modern but light-hearted touch which, in this current world of doom and gloom, is surely the sort of escapism fans want on screen. At just 36, he could play the role for a long-time coming and after seeing his brilliant and often unnerving performance in ‘The Punisher’ there is no doubt he has the acting charisma to carry the role.

Who do you think should play the next Bond?