Vincent D’Onofrio, who has portrayed Kingpin in both Netflix’s Daredevil and Disney+’s Hawkeye series, discusses how he approached each incarnation of the role differently and how his original interpretation was “too hardcore” for the Marvel Cinematic Universe. D’Onofrio made a surprising reappearance in the Hawkeye standalone series after initially appearing in Daredevil in 2015. But it was evident that this Kingpin had evolved since his Netflix days.
In terms of tone and subject matter, the Marvel shows that debuted on Netflix and those that will debut on Disney+ are quite different. As Daredevil or the Punisher mowed their way through New York City’s criminal underworld, the Netflix programmes frequently featured gruesome, blood-soaked fight scenes.
The Disney+ episodes, on the other hand, have been made in a more classic MCU manner so far, and are often more humorous and less violent. As one of the only performers to have appeared in both Marvel TV universes, D’Onofrio has spoken out about why his original Kingpin was too violent for the MCU.
The actor told ComicBook.com that the way he played Daredevil’s persona wouldn’t work in Hawkeye because it was “too hardcore.” He emphasised the stark differences in tone between the two shows, as well as the fact that Hawkeye featured significantly less blood and torture. Should he return, he also appeared to imply that he hopes this revised version of Kingpin will embrace more of the Netflix version’s savagery. Take a look at what he has to say below:
Vincent Says, “I think it’s less bloody”
“I think the [different] tones are obvious. (And)I think it’s less bloody. We talked a lot about it, and for me, it’s not a worry, because if I ever get the chance to take it further with the MCU, then I’m going to do the same work I did on Daredevil, like I did in Hawkeye.”
The actor continued to describe how the character is about emotional brutality and is a mess. He added that Fisk is a broken monster who is capable of many different kinds of brutality but this did not worry him during Hawkeye. D’Onofrio added, “I did notice obviously that there’s less blood and there’s less torture. The thing you have to do is, you have to stay away from torture, and that really cuts things down. A lot of baddies that you play, they’re not just baddies, but they also actually torture people. They get control of them and torture, and that’s too hardcore. So that’s out for Hawkeye, and hopefully, something will happen after this.“
While there were hints of the character throughout the season, D’Onofrio was only seen in his whole in Hawkeye’s final episode. Even though Kingpin had a vicious confrontation with Kate Bishop in the season finale, the violence on display pales in comparison to some of Netflix’s other offerings.
Even though Kingpin is ostensibly killed by Echo at the end of the episode, it occurs off-screen, which could be to set the stage for a return. There is evident tonal discord between the Netflix and Disney+ programmes. Surely, it’s difficult to fathom a world where Jon Bernthal’s Punisher and Paul Rudd’s Ant-Man exchange small chats.
It’s encouraging to see that D’Onofrio is aware of the gap and understands that each rendition of the character necessitates a different approach. And it’s currently unknown whether Kingpin’s apparent death in Hawkeye is permanent or not, but he’s a formidable opponent regardless of platform. Hopefully, D’Onofrio will get his dream and reprise his role in the MCU in the future.