Will Kingpin Become the MCU's New Thanos? Hawkeye Actor Responds

By Richard Nebens Posted:
Thanos Kingpin

Marvel Studios is having arguably its biggest week in its 13-year history with the theatrical release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which came less than a week before the season finale of Hawkeye on Disney+. Part of what made the week so special was the fact that both movies brought characters from Marvel's Netflix past into the MCU in the forms of Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock and Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk.

Kingpin's debut in particular was quite the hot topic, as he was first rumored to join Hawkeye over the summer and proceded to come up in discussions almost weekly due to D'Onofrio's suspicious social media soliloquies. Once he made his full debut in Episode 6, it was clear that D'Onofrio hadn't missed a step after three years away from this iconic role.

With the chances of Fisk actually being dead after his full debut episode being slim-to-none, fans are now racking their brains thinking of where the Kingpin of Crime could come into play in the future; this also comes with wondering how powerful he can be in his return. While D'Onofrio isn't thinking that big quite yet, his most recent interview hinted that he's aware of the possibility.

D'Onofrio on Kingpin Being an MCU Big Bad

Vincent DOnofrio, Kingpin, Heroes

Speaking with the Toronto Sun, Hawkeye star Vincent D'Onofrio shared his thoughts on just how prolific of a villain the Kingpin could become now that he's arrived in the MCU.

Some fans have theorized that the Kingpin could become something similar to Josh Brolin's Thanos, although D'Onofrio admitted that that decision is "up to Marvel and (studio president) Kevin (Feige) and the writers." Even so, the actor is well aware of the opportunity for this to happen and is eager to continue exploring the different sides of Wilson Fisk's personality.

When asked if Kingpin could become the MCU's next big bad who could bring other supervillains together, D'Onofrio responded:

"I’ve never thought about it in those terms before. I guess that’s up to Marvel and Kevin and the writers. Do I think he’s capable of being the guy that’s behind everything? In my mind, he always was… I don’t think we’ve begun to explore how interesting Fisk is. That’s why I hope we continue. I really want to. There’s all these different facets. The most interesting thing about this guy — and I think you can tell as we talk here — is what makes him tick. That is complicated and cool in my mind."

D'Onofrio also touched on how the Kingpin has remained popular since his debut in the 1960s, which D'Onofrio used to look at the character's "emotional life" rather than focusing on the "cartoony" version of the villain from the old days. The actor shared just how much that emotion plays into every act that the Kingpin commits, good or bad, and how this keeps fans "attracted to him as a character" with Marvel Studios.

"Personally, I think the key is that we continue to play him based on his emotional life. If I was to get away from that, and make him more like some of his appearances in the old comic runs I think he would become a more cartoony kind of character. I think what is most interesting about him, especially in Hawkeye, is that he’s able to have this incredible strength and this incredible ability to take physical abuse, but it all comes from his emotional life. Even when he’s enjoying himself or he’s angry, it’s all through the emotional pain of his childhood. That’s always his foundation, and that’s the key to people still being attracted to him as a character in the MCU."

Hawkeye's Kingpin on Thanos' Level?

Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin was known as one of the most ruthless Marvel villains ever put to screen in his three seasons of work on Netflix's Daredevil. After one full episode in Marvel Studios' Hawkeye, D'Onofrio picked up his character's momentum right where it left off.

The big question now is just how prominent of a villain Wilson Fisk can be in future outings, particularly following in the footsteps of cross-franchise supervillains like Thanos.

While the Mad Titan largely operated as a cosmic entity in his quest to eliminate half of all life in the universe, D'Onofrio's antagonist could have the opportunity for a similar reign of terror on Earth. Hawkeye Episode 6 already emphasized that Fisk is ready to remind the world who runs New York City, and it's unlikely that he'll want his reign to end in the Big Apple anytime soon.

At the moment, it's still a mystery where Kingpin will make his next move, although it's close to a guarantee that he lived past the final scene with Alaqua Cox's Maya Lopez in Episode 6. This potentially Thanos-level big bad will have his day in the sun, with that return being more of a "when" rather than an "if."

All six episodes of Hawkeye are available to stream on Disney+.

- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.