Marvel Studios is officially finished with its entire 2021 release slate in theaters and on Disney+, which just concluded with the sixth and final episode of the streaming series Hawkeye. Jeremy Renner's solo series took some bold steps in that last entry, with Clint Barton and Kate Bishop tackling the Tracksuit Mafia while also delivering a full MCU debut for Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin from the Netflix series Daredevil.
D'Onofrio had spent most of the few weeks prior to his MCU debut hinting at his imminent arrival through cryptic social media posts and mysterious teases through interviews on the subject. Now that the powerful villain is fully engrained into the fabric of the MCU, the opportunity to explore his backstory and history more deeply is now present, even with the show's ending placing him in a precarious situation.
The lingering question about Kingpin's story now is how directly it will tie back to his time in the Netflix Daredevil show, where his history and family life were truly fleshed out as the character evolved over three years and 27 episodes. Now, D'Onofrio has the opportunity to share not only his experience with the true and canon MCU but also his hopes for where Kingpin's journey goes in the future.
D'Onofrio's Hopes for Vanessa's Return from Daredevil
Hawkeye star Vincent D'Onofrio spoke with Rotten Tomatoes about his revival of Kingpin within the MCU and where he hopes it goes in potential future outings.
When asked about his motivation being centered on control or cruelty, D'Onofrio made it perfectly clear that it's "never cruelty" the way he sees it. His big bad is simply a "misunderstood" person through his actions:
"No, no, no. It’s not cruelty. It’s never cruelty from my point of view. He’s just misunderstood."
D'Onofrio also shared that he took on the role with the mindset that the events in Daredevil happened in Kingpin's past, no matter how much it would matter or how "impossible" some of the dots were to connect in the MCU:
"Oh, sure. I don’t know how much it’s going to matter. But I do know that in my mind, and in the mind of the people I was working with on Hawkeye, that they connected as many dots as possible, for my sake. And some were impossible."
Looking back at that past, the actor behind Wilson Fisk referenced the villain's wife from the Daredevil series, Vanessa (played by Ayelet Zurer). When asked if she was still in the world, D'Onofrio wanted that to be the case by saying "I hope so. Yeah."
As for when fans will actually see Kingpin again, D'Onofrio is approaching the future as though he will be back in the foreseeable future. He also referenced his younger days seeing the villain pop up in comics for heroes like the Punisher, Daredevil, and Spider-Man, calling those stories something of a home for Fisk:
"I think I can only approach it as somebody with the investment to see Kingpin continue. That’s my hope that he will. You know? And in my mind, from when I was a kid, Kingpin existed in Punisher, Spider-Man, and Daredevil. And so, that’s where he lives for me."
Kingpin Story Only Beginning in the MCU
Although fans have long hoped for Marvel Studios to bring the heroes and villains from the Netflix shows into the canon MCU, the challenge now is figuring out exactly how renditions like D'Onofrio's fit into the story. On top of that, there are questions quickly being raised about whether this Kingpin is the one from Daredevil with the same history or if it's a brand new person played by the same actor.
Part of that history for Kingpin includes Vanessa Fisk, Wilson's wife who helped him and supported him through all of his dangerous and violent exploits through her 11 on-screen appearances. She clearly remains an important part of the Kingpin legacy - not only in live-action but in animation as well, with 2018's Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse featuring Vanessa and the young Richard Fisk as Kingpin's reasoning for breaking the Multiverse.
Whether Vanessa makes her return in the MCU will depend on when her husband does, but it's clear that D'Onofrio is looking to the future in that regard with his highly-praised supervillain.
Considering the specifics of that future, D'Onofrio is approaching the matter as though Fisk survived whatever happened at the end of Hawkeye Episode 6 in his encounter with Alaqua Cox's Echo. There's a possibility that he'll come back in Cox's solo series or a slew of other MCU entries down the road, but no matter what happens, it's almost a guarantee that the Kingpin of Crime will be back for more madness.
All six episodes of Hawkeye are now available to stream on Disney+.