Last week the season finale of Hawkeye premiered on Disney+ and it built off a surprising return of a fan-favourite Marvel character from the season’s penultimate episode in a very satisfying way and now the actor behind the role has spoken out [Editor’s note – as Marvel is now openly sharing promotional material from Hawkeye’s finale online, we no longer consider this a spoiler. However, this article does also contact a minor spoiler for Spider-Man: No Way Home].
Hawkeye‘s season finale saw Vincent D’Onofrio reprise his Daredevil role as Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, as he made his formal entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. D’Onofrio first played the role on the Netflix Daredevil series in 2015, a role he continued to play until the series’ third and final season in 2018. However, the Netflix Marvel shows such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and others were only in the MCU on the peripheral as the shows would reference characters or events from the films, but not the other way around and once Disney began to develop Disney+, Netflix cancelled all its Marvel shows which begged the questions if any of the series would be considered MCU canon or fans would see the actors reprise their roles.
The past two weeks have confirmed that, at least in the case of Daredevil, it is canon and Hawkeye brought back D’Onofrio’s Kingpin as the season’s hidden antagonist. Speaking with Yahoo! Entertainment, D’Onofrio spoke about his return to the role and how it differs from Daredevil, as well as how the events of ‘The Blip’, where everyone who died due to Thanos snapping them out of existence with the Infinity Gaunlet was brought back in the climax of Avengers: Endgame, has affected Fisk.
“It’s absolutely the same guy,” D’Onofrio said. “One of the things that was clear between the collaboration of everyone involved is that I was going to play him emotionally like I played him on Daredevil. Not all the dots are easy to connect to MCU canon, in the same way they build off the comic book runs when they turn them into movies, but even though the dots don’t always connect perfectly, they do connect in a lot of ways.”
On the stark difference in tone between Daredevil and Hawkeye, D’Onofrio said “I knew this was going to be lighter. It’s just naturally like that. My sons and I are fans of the Marvel movies like everybody else in the world. But all I really need is the interior life of the character, and then I can do anything they need me to do. Just as long as I can ground him as a human being first, and then turn him into this iconic villain. He’s like all the villains I’ve played in that they’re good guys — just misunderstood.”
Of course, D’Onofrio isn’t the only actor to reprise his role as anyone who has seen Spider-Man: No Way Home knows Charlie Cox cameoed as lawyer Matt Murdock, representing Peter Parker in his legal troubles after his identity was revealed to the world. Interestingly, neither Cox or D’Onofrio knew the other would be returning to the MCU, something D’Onofrio said they discussed only after No Way Home and Hawkeye premiered.
“Once it broke on the internet, Charlie and I immediately called each other. And then we had the conversation we’d been waiting to have for about a year! He and I made a pact after the first season of Daredevil that we weren’t going to give what other people told us away to each other because we didn’t want to confuse our on and off-screen relationship. So we’ve always been in the same boat when it comes to this stuff. Charlie and I are friends in real life, so that phone conversation was a lot of fun.”
With D’Onofrio and Cox having returned to the MCU, hopefully it won’t be long before we see them suited up as Daredevil and Kingpin in another MCU project once again.
Ricky Church – Follow me on Twitter for more movie news and nerd talk.