Marvel Cinematic Universe fans were recently treated to something they’d wanted for a very long time when Wilson Fisk/Kingpin (Vincent D’Onofrio) finally made his MCU debut in Disney+ Original series, Hawkeye.
When Netflix’s Daredevil series ended on October 19, 2018, after three seasons, many Marvel fans were disappointed. Over the course of the series, Charlie Cox’s Matt Murdock/Daredevil, Deborah Ann Woll’s Karen Page, Elden Henson’s Foggy Nelson, and D’Onofrio’s fan-favorite villain had become indispensable parts of the Marvel universe.
The Walt Disney Company obtained the rights to Daredevil characters in 2020 and, in late 2021, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige and Co. delivered, introducing both Matt Murdock/Daredevil and Wilson Fisk/Kingpin into the MCU via Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye, respectively.
As it turns out, though, Kingpin wasn’t planned to be the “big bad” in Jeremy Renner and Hailee Steinfeld’s Hawkeye series, which is set after the events of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019). It took Feige suggesting the character during a brainstorming session to get the ball rolling on D’Onofrio’s Marvel return.
In the Hawkeye-centric installment of Marvel Studios: Assembled on Disney+, executive producer Brad Winderbaum shared:
“We were all on a call, me and Kevin and Trinh [Trinh Tran], and we were talking about the Tracksuit Mafia and the criminal organization behind this story, and we needed a really big threat, like something that, you know, would make Eleanor Bishop [Vera Farmiga] shake in her boots and Hawkeye, you know, get a little bit afraid. It had to be someone powerful.”
Producer Trinh Tran added:
“Kevin threw out the idea that ‘What if this could be Kingpin?’ And I think all of our jaws just kind of dropping our Zoom meetings, and we’re kinda like, ‘Wait, you’re joking, right? This can’t be serious. Are you serious? This is… You really think that there’s a chance that we can actually get Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays Kingpin in Daredevil in the series, as a cameo for a couple of scenes? Like, he is our big boss?’ And Kevin made a call to Vincent.”
The Full Metal Jacket alum was thrilled to return to the role, having long expressed his desire to reprise as his Daredevil character. D’Onofrio recently shared that he thinks his New York City crime boss is the most powerful villain in the MCU and that “nobody, not even Thanos [Josh Brolin]” can beat Kingpin.
Although it has not yet been confirmed when 62-year-old D’Onofrio will make his way back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Hawkeye spinoff series Echo seems like a good bet.
The show is set to star Alaqua Cox reprising her Hawkeye role as Maya Lopez/Echo. In the Marvel Comics universe — and now in the MCU — Kingpin and Echo have a close relationship, as he helped to raise the deaf character from childhood.
More on Hawkeye
The official description of Hawkeye reads:
Marvel Studios’ “Hawkeye” stars Jeremy Renner as Hawkeye [Clint Barton], who teams up with another well-known archer from the Marvel comics, Kate Bishop, played by Hailee Steinfeld. The cast also includes Vera Farmiga, Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, Brian d’Arcy James and newcomer Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez. “Hawkeye” is helmed by Rhys Thomas and directing duo Bert and Bertie.
Are you glad Feige suggested Kingpin as the MCU’s newest big bad?
You can stream Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow and the five series in Marvel’s Phase Four so far — Elizabeth Olsen and Paul Bettany’s WandaVision, Anthony Mackie and Sebastian Stan’s The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, Tom Hiddleston’s Loki, Marvel’s What If…?, and Jeremy Renner’s Hawkeye— on Disney+ anytime.