Casting News: Ben Barnes to Star Opposite Julia Ormond in BBC Drama 'Gold Digger'

Ben Barnes (Westworld, The Chronicles of Narnia) is making his way back to the BBC, starring in the forthcoming drama Gold Digger opposite Julia Ormond (Howards End miniseries), according to BBC Media Centre.

BBC Press took to their Twitter page today (August 20) to make the announcement officially-official:

At first glance, we thought "gold digger" was a period drama, referring to the 19th century Californian gold rush... but, nope, nope, not at all. The term is being used in the more modern sense, when a person manipulates a romantic relationship for financial gain.

It's not 100 percent clear if Barnes' character is in fact a con man, but that's how the stage is being set with the series' description: "Barnes plays Benjamin Golding, the thirty something copywriter with a shrouded past who becomes involved with an older woman Julia Day (Ormond)."

Day thinks she's found happiness with a man 25 years her junior, but her family, who is already somewhat disjointed, thinks otherwise. They suspect he has an agenda, and it's not about getting loved-up. His last name having the word "gold" in it doesn't really help his cause, if he is in fact on the up and up.

It sounds like Barnes is pretty excited about this project, saying in a statement, "I’m thrilled to be joining the exciting cast and creative team in telling this unexpected, modern relationship story with the opportunity to play such a complex and enigmatic character."

Creator-writer Marnie Dickens (BBC America's Thirteen) is just as keen on the actor, saying, "Having Ben Barnes play the 'gold digger' of our title is a real coup. I'm very much looking forward to working with him."

She did in fact refer to Barnes as playing the gold digger, but notice she uses single quotes, like air quotes if she were speaking in front of us... so, the jury is still out on his true motives.

We shall have to tune-in to the six-part series when it premieres in 2019 on BBC One. There's no confirmation if or when the series will head to the U.S., but fingers crossed it will land stateside sooner than later...

You may remember Barnes as Prince Caspian in the second installment of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe film series, The Chronicles of Narnia. More recently, he starred in the fan favorite sci-fi series Westworld (2016-2018). You can also watch him in the 2017 Marvel series The Punisher as Billy Russo.

Ormond is known for memorable roles like in 1994's Legend of the Falls and 1995's Sabrina. She also starred in Mad Men (2012-2015) and 2017's TV adaptation of Howards End.

Does this romantic pairing work for you?