Hawkeye's Original Script Featured Kingpin as 'Frail Old Man'

By Russ Milheim Updated:
Hawkeye, Kingpin, Marvel, MCU

Hawkeye has come and gone, but many still hold the Disney+ series high on their Marvel rankings lists. The Christmas tale told the story of Clint Barton and Kate Bishop as they were forced to clean up a big mess, one which had the entire Tracksuit Mafia on them. Not only that, but it brought an old villain out of the woodwork: Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin.

The big bad originally appeared in Netflix's Daredevil, but after its cancelation, he hadn't been seen since. Fans, however, were dying to see D'Onofrio back in the role, especially alongside Charlie Cox's blind hero. Now, thanks to the magic of the MCU, both have returned to the franchise, although it's currently in separate projects with Matt Murdock helping Peter out in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Marvel Studios, of course, likes keeping secrets, and it seems that this situation is no different. In fact, according to Hawkeye's costume designer, the original scripts for the Jeremy Renner series hid the villain's identity behind the guise of a 'frail old man.'

Kingpin, the Frail Old Man

Kingpin, Hawkeye

In an interview with Gold DerbyHawkeye costume designer Michael Crow commented on how down-low Marvel kept its Kingpin cameo, which involved putting the character into the script as 'frail old man' Kingpin.

Crow noted how originally the script mentioned "this frail old man with an oxygen mask... in the original [drafts]:"

"Originally in the script it sort of read like—in the comics there's sort of this frail old man with an oxygen mask. And that's sort of what was in the original script... we started shooting [Hawkeye] in December [2020], and we weren't shooting it until the end of January [2021], so at point, like over the holidays, I reached out to [Trinh Tran], who is one of our producers, and I just sort of asked, 'So, we haven't really talked about this character. Do you want what's in the comic book, is that what we need to do? Because that's a custom thing, [and] who's the cast member? We need to start moving on this.' And I just got a little text back [saying], 'We'll talk more about it later, but that's not really what it is.'

He went on to elaborate that he "couldn't [even] talk to vendors" for a while, since "Vincent [D'Onofrio] wasn't signed [at the time]:"

"And then a couple days later, I got a call, and she whispered, 'This is what we're doing, nobody knows, you can't tell anybody.' So, even for a month after that, I couldn't talk to vendors, like nothing because Vincent [D'Onofrio] wasn't signed. It was very secret. I think maybe outside of the [higher-ups, I was the first person told]."

The Kingpin Secrets of Hawkeye

This certainly sounds like something Marvel Studios would do to try to keep its secrets. One has to wonder how many of the scripts end up sounding with all of those secretive placeholders just lying around trying to fool people. People clearly have a lot of faith in the MCU brand.

Sadly, despite its efforts, Marvel Studios was still unable to keep his role in the show a secret. Just like the Charlie Cox reveal leaked in the news streams, so did the Kingpin's big return. Recently it seems that those in charge behind the scenes are having quite a lot of trouble keeping secrets from getting out into the world.

So when will viewers see Vincent D'Onofrio in the role again? Well, despite it seeming like he had been shot and killed the last time audiences saw him on screen, that is almost certainly not his demise. Odds are, the villain will show up to haunt his adopted daughter Maya Lopez in her upcoming Disney+ series Echo, which recently began filming.

Hawkeye is now streaming on Disney+.

- About The Author: Russ Milheim
Russ Milheim is the Industry Relations Coordinator at The Direct. On top of utilizing his expertise on the many corners of today’s entertainment to cover the latest news and theories, he establishes and maintains communication and relations between the outlet and the many studio and talent representatives.