Outside of the mania surrounding Spider-Man: No Way Home, Marvel Studios is simultaneously delivering big things in the Disney+ sphere with the final episode of the Hawkeye Disney+ series. Closing out the first and possibly only season of streaming material centered on the original Avengers' master archer, this story made some major plot and character choices that could have major ramifications in the future.
Warning - The rest of this article contains spoilers for Episode 6 of Hawkeye.
One of the biggest of those choices both literally and figuratively was a full MCU debut for Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk, as he and Marvel Studios brought truth to the Kingpin rumors that came through over the summer. After bringing a highly-praised take on Kingpin in three seasons of Daredevil on Netflix, the character made his presence felt immediately on Hawkeye with his connections to Alaqua Cox’s Maya Lopez, the Tracksuit Mafia, and Vera Farmiga’s Eleanor Bishop.
Now, the lingering question on fans' minds - is this Kingpin the very same Wilson Fisk that came into play in Daredevil? Is it a true and bonafide crossover? D’Onofrio recently took a moment to explain his thoughts, which should mean some good things are coming for the iconic villain in the MCU.
Is Hawkeye's Kingpin the Same as Daredevil's?
Wilson Fisk star Vincent D'Onofrio spoke with Cinema Blend about the new rendition of Kingpin that fully debuted in Episode 6 of Hawkeye.
Specifically, he touched on whether this version of Kingpin is the same version of the supervillain that existed in all three seasons of the Netflix-housed Daredevil series from 2015 to 2018.
While D'Onofrio believes it's the same character, he admitted there are some "dots that can't be connected" in regards to the two versions of the character being the same person. However, he looked at what Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige has tried to do over the years with interconnectivity and how he and the team "tried to do the same thing" as much as possible with Hawkeye.:
"It’s the same character. Yeah, I mean, the way that we saw it on Hawkeye, or [what] I ended up believing, is that there are [as] many dots connected as we can possibly connect, and some are just impossible to connect. But I think… it's the same as a lot of the MCU stuff that's done, that Kevin [Feige] does, and all the incredible filmmakers, you know, they try to connect to the original stuff as much as they can. … But then there's dots that can't be connected. And I think we tried to do the same thing with connecting Daredevil to… or Hawkeye to Daredevil and Daredevil to Hawkeye. You know, it's like that."
The big difference between this Kingpin and the one from Daredevil is that he's "physically stronger and can take a lot more physical abuse" this time around, which is one of his iconic traits from the comics. D'Onofrio explained how he's an "emotional human being" and described how he uses his own life experiences to bring that emotion to the screen, which helped bring that much more of a connection to the role:
"I mean, obviously, my character in Hawkeye is physically stronger and can take a lot more physical abuse. But my approach to him is exactly the same approach that I did on Daredevil. He is an emotional human being, he is a child and a monster simultaneously. The same things that are going on inside me when I'm playing the character, the events that I use, whether the joyful ones or sad ones or frustrating ones or angry ones, the events that I use from my life are the same ones that I used in Daredevil that I used to portray Fisk. So it's connected, for sure. In my mind, for sure."
Kingpin Canon with Netflix Shows or Not?
While the subject of Marvel Television shows being canon with the MCU is an ongoing discussion, these talks have seen a rise in prominence due to D'Onofrio's full MCU arrival as Wilson Fisk. With D'Onofrio playing the same character that thrilled fans in the Daredevil series, there always seemed to be a possibility that the two versions of Kingpin were one and the same.
Looking closely at D'Onofrio's quotes, there seems to be no way to definitively make his two Kingpins the same being, due to certain threads that can't be connected between the stories in Hawkeye and Daredevil. So, in the simplest of terms, this is almost certainly a new take on Fisk that doesn't necessarily have the same specific history he did on Netflix.
However, what should keep fans excited is that the actor is doing everything in his power to approach the role the same way he did in Daredevil, which already came through with his vocal timbre and the stature he boasted upon his arrival. Couple that with an almost inhuman sense of strength that exceeds what he's shown in the past, and MCU fans could be in for a truly comic-accurate and terrifying take on the criminal mastermind.
Following the end of Episode 6, it's a mystery where Fisk will show up next, although it's almost guaranteed that he's still alive and ready to exert his full power in the near future.
All six episodes of Hawkeye are available to stream on Disney+.