With decades of popular film and television projects under his belt, it's no surprise that actor Ben Barnes gets fan casted as different characters across the internet. It might be interesting to know that before Netflix produced Shadow and Bone, Ben was a popular fan cast for the character he plays, General Kirigan/The Darkling.
Time and time again, fans have voiced their opinions on who Ben should play next. However, no one is as vocal as Harry Potter fans who have spent over a decade hoping for Ben to play a young version of Sirius Black, the character portrayed by Gary Oldman in the films.
So, what's the deal with Ben Barnes and Sirius Black? Here's the inside scoop on this piece of fan lore.
Fans have wanted Ben Barnes to play young Sirius Black since 'Dorian Gray.'
The idea of a novel or television series based around Harry Potter characters known as "the Marauders" began when the characters were introduced in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.
The characters, James Potter, Sirius Black, Remus Lupin and Peter Pettigrew, were notorious troublemakers at Hogwarts School and, later in life, also members of the Order of the Phoenix. The characters aren't as present in Harry Potter except as adults, leaving fans to imagine their youths.
In 2013, when asked at the Bath Literature Festival if she would ever write a prequel series or novella about the Marauders, infamous author J.K. Rowling refused, claiming that she "doesn't find prequels to be any good," per Hypable. That said, many fans created fleets of fan fiction, fan films, fan art, and more celebrating the characters and their interpretations of them.
Arguably, the majority of this movement started on fanfiction forums and Tumblr, but it has quickly migrated to TikTok. The hashtags #marauders and #themaraudersera have a collective six billion one hundred five million views. The videos are a mix of fan cams, fanfiction links, theory videos, and more. Many videos feature Ben Barnes as Sirius, while others are more general excitement about the characters.
In 2009, Ben Barnes acted in Dorian Gray, an adaptation of Oscar Wilde's classic novel. Many fans saw parallels between Dorian's wealthy upbringing but hedonistic personality and Sirius Black's personality, and thus, the fan casting began. Another popular fan cast is Andrew Garfield as a young Remus Lupin after his performance in Never Let Me Go.
Recently in a Reddit AMA with Ben Barnes, a fan asked, "Have you, at any point in your life, read fanfiction about a certain long haired, convicted murderer that turns into a dog at will and his friend group whilst they were at school?" in reference to the Marauders.
Ben replied, "haha no but i know what you're referencing!! #gryffindor"
It's always inspiring when fans of a particular character or group of characters are so passionate about them they continuously push for those characters to have their films, tv shows, or books. For now, it seems that Ben Barnes isn't involved in any Sirius Black-related content, but it is safe to say he's aware of the love for his acting online!