Is Vincent D’Onofrio Returning As The Kingpin In The MCU? Why Couldn’t Marvel Recast?

It appears that the rumors are genuine — Vincent D’Onofrio is playing Kingpin in Marvel’s Hawkeye series:

Rumors Say Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin might appear in Hawkeye
Rumors Say Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin might appear in Hawkeye

The allegations appear to be real; Vincent D’Onofrio appears to be portraying Kingpin in Marvel’s Hawkeye series. Given the Kingpin’s links to the comic book version of Hawkeye’s Echo, there were rumors that Wilson Fisk might be included in the Disney+ series. While it was speculated that Marvel would simply replace Kingpin’s involvement in her background with a different villain, Hawkeye Episode 3 revealed that the series is at least somewhat faithful to the source material. There have been expectations that if Marvel brings Kingpin back into the MCU—whether through Hawkeye, Echo, or another project—it will be with Vincent D’Onofrio’s interpretation of the character. In particular, D’Onofrio notably portrayed the Marvel Comics criminal mastermind and iconic member of the Spider-rogues’ gallery in Netflix’s Daredevil series during its three-season run. Although Marvel’s Netflix programs do not appear to be MCU canon, the notion of the multiverse makes it appear feasible for D’Onofrio’s Kingpin to exist someplace in its realm. Despite his previous connection to the character in the Netflix series, rumors about Charlie Cox’s Daredevil appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home fueled speculation that D’Onofrio may play the MCU’s Kingpin. The arrival of D’Onofrio’s Kingpin in the MCU now seems more plausible than ever. Here’s how Hawkeye episode 3 hints at Kingpin being the show’s true antagonist, how he’s linked to Echo, and why Marvel appears to have chosen against recasting him.

Hawkeye Teases Kingpin’s Villain Reveal:

A still of Alaqua Cox's Echo from the Hawkeye Series
A still of Alaqua Cox’s Echo from the Hawkeye Series

The MCU’s cautious concealment of Echo’s “uncle identity” in Hawkeye Episode 3 serves as a strong signal that this guy is either someone of significant importance in the comics, a recognizable face, or both. Otherwise, it would be weird to keep his identity hidden. For some reason, Hawkeye avoided displaying his face, but he didn’t shy away from throwing some apparent hints. The outfit, the character’s build, and his reputation as the ringleader of a criminal empire all point to his being the Kingpin, the same villain whose diabolical planning made him a despised foe of both Spider-Man and Daredevil in the comic books. All of this is enhanced by the tone of his voice, which is similar to D’Onofrio’s. Furthermore, Kazi’s remark about her father “always putting the crew first” suggests that Uncle acts in a different manner, likely in a much more wicked and violent manner.

Kingpin Seems to be The Uncle – Echo Comics Link Explanation:

Kingpin Might Be The Uncle Shown In Maya’s Past
Kingpin Might Be The Uncle Shown In Maya’s Past

Of course, there are plenty of terrifying street-level villains and criminals that might fit Hawkeye’s major adversary position in Marvel, but it’s the introduction of Echo that truly sells the Kingpin link. In the comics, Maya’s father, Crazy Horse, died, leaving her in the care of Fisk, who was one of Crazy Horse’s most trusted pals. Kingpin, unbeknownst to her, was covertly responsible for her father’s death. Following that, Fisk reared her as if she were his own child, soon seeing that she was gifted in a variety of ways. As a result, Fisk made sure Jessica had an excellent education and eventually used her as a pawn in his struggle with Daredevil. Because Fisk treated her so well, Echo remained loyal to him for years before discovering that he was the one who orchestrated Crazy Horse’s killing. This history is entirely compatible with what Hawkeye is doing with Echo. The episode established that her father and uncle were both connected in organized crime. Her father died, and authority of his group appears to have transferred to Uncle. The obvious connection between Echo’s MCU beginnings and her comic book past explains why Uncle can’t be Silvermane, Hammerhead, Count Nefaria, or any other Marvel Comics mobster. It’s got to be Kingpin.

Why Vincent D’Onofrio Is Perfect for the Role of Kingpin:

Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin Reportedly Returning For Hawkeye
Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin Reportedly Returning For Hawkeye

As previously stated, the Netflix shows are allegedly independent of the MCU, implying that Marvel could theoretically start over with any of its characters, including Kingpin. In certain circumstances, this would be the better method, particularly because it would allow Marvel to create fresh tales rather than being compelled to build on events from Netflix’s program. However, recasting and starting from scratch aren’t always essential. Two of the most important aspects of Daredevil were Kingpin and what D’Onofrio brought to the role. When dressed in his comic-accurate white suit, Fisk could clearly be identified as the Kingpin from Marvel Comics. With his chilling portrayal as the ruthless and confident criminal leader in Daredevil, D’Onofrio established that he had what it takes to play Kingpin. The ultimate Kingpin has already been presented thanks to D’Onofrio and Daredevil.

It Would Be A Tragedy To Recast Kingpin:

What's Next Of Hawkeye series is still a mystery
What’s Next Of Hawkeye series is still a mystery

If Marvel had recast Kingpin with a different actor, D’Onofrio’s unwavering enthusiasm for the role, the fact that Marvel has the option to use him, and the overwhelmingly positive reception to Daredevil’s Kingpin would have resulted in a massive backlash. Bringing in a new actor would have been a bad idea given that they don’t need to. D’Onofrio’s prominence would have also destroyed the surprise of integrating such a significant Spider-Man character into the MCU. D’Onofrio’s Kingpin in Hawkeye has a high possibility of garnering extensive, favorable notice, whereas a new Kingpin would have resulted in a lot of disappointment and criticism from those who wanted D’Onofrio to return. By employing Daredevil’s version, Marvel will avoid that possibility, as well as the obvious parallels between its new Kingpin and D’Onofrio. Similarly, with J.K. Simmons’ J. Jonah Jameson, sticking with the most iconic live-action version of the character might work better than trying something new. When one version is universally adored by viewers, a new edition is almost always bound to fall short of expectations. As a result, it makes perfect sense for Marvel to bring back D’Onofrio’s Kingpin for Hawkeye, as well as maybe additional MCU projects. After all, outdoing his Daredevil performance would have been extremely difficult and completely pointless. On Disney+, new episodes of Hawkeye are released every Wednesday.

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