Hawkeye is filled with many interesting characters, and one of them is Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk aka Kingpin from Netflix's Daredevil series. D'Onofrio's return has been the subject of many rumors leading to Hawkeye's debut, and it was ultimately confirmed at the tail-end of the show's fifth episode. In the series, the crime boss was revealed as the big bad pulling the strings behind the Tracksuit Mafia while also diving deep into his emotional connection to Alaqua Cox's Maya Lopez.
Before Hawkeye, D'Onofrio portrayed Fisk in the Daredevil series for three seasons from 2015 to 2018. Given that the show's ties to the MCU is one of the burning questions of fans, D'Onofrio's potential debut in the universe of Earth's Mightiest Heroes has been the subject of debate.
However, despite D'Onofrio having cemented the fact that his Kingpin in Hawkeye is the same one from the Netflix series, he also admitted that there are some "dots that can't be connected" in regards to the two versions of the character being the same person.
Now, an interesting new tidbit about Kingpin's return has been revealed.
Kevin Feige Reveals Kingpin-Sized Secrets
Hawkeye's episode of Marvel Studios: Assembled revealed the story behind the return of Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin in the Disney+ series.
The latest installment unveiled that it was actually the idea of Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige to bring Kingpin back.
Hawkeye executive producer Brad Winderbaum first discussed how the comeback came to light, explaining the show's need for a "really big threat" that would make Vera Farmiga's Eleanor Bishop "shake in her boots:"
“We were all on a call, me and Kevin and Trinh, 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 shake in her boots and Hawkeye, you know, get a little bit afraid. It had to be someone powerful.”
Feige shared that Hawkeye's set-up of a New York City criminal boss paved the path for a sensible return of D'Onofrio's villain:
“When you talk about organized crime in the Marvel universe and you talk about the seedy underbelly of New York City, there is one primary character that comes to mind.”
Hawkeye producer Trinh Tran then discussed the full story of the team's Zoom meeting where Feige made the call to bring back the Daredevil villain in order to fill Hawkeye's "big boss" role:
“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.”
D'Onofrio also revealed details of Feige's call to bring him back, pointing out then that he's "not gonna say no" to the opportunity:
"He said ‘I want to bring you into the MCU’ and I’m not gonna say no to that. That’s pretty awesome.”
Kingpin's Marvel Comeback Hidden in Secrecy
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige is known for taking big risks, and this latest story of recruiting Vincent D'Onofrio is a solid example to drive the point home. In addition, this behind-the-scenes story further cements the idea that the higher ups from Marvel Studios are also huge fans of the MCU.
Based on what's been revealed, it seems that Feige's only choice for the show's big bad was D'Onofrio's Kingpin. Given the grounded nature of Hawkeye, Kingpin's inclusion makes narrative sense, especially considering that the show is already set in New York City.
While Kingpin had a limited role in Hawkeye, the character still delivered many exciting moments and teases about his interesting future. Hawkeye's finale ended with Kingpin seemingly being shot by Echo, but many would agree that the series is not the last time that fans will see the New York crime boss.
At this point, Kingpin could end up being featured in the upcoming Echo Disney+ series, considering the character's deep ties to the titular hero. D'Onofrio also expressed interest in potentially joining Tom Holland's Spider-Man 4, saying that he "wants it as much as everybody does."
D'Onofrio's passion for the character combined with Feige's eagerness to bring him back should serve as a positive sign for the MCU moving forward.
All episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.