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Vincent D'Onofrio's triumphant return as Wilson Fisk in Marvel Studios' Hawkeye series nearly came with a few extra pounds of fury. In the show's Assembled making-of documentary (now streaming on Disney+), producer Trinh Tran reveals that the original plan was to depict "a heavier set version of Kingpin," which would have hewed a little closer to the comics. "But ultimately, we wanted to go in a completely different direction for this character," she explains. "To put him in that Hawaiian shirt was kind of like a dream come true."
"I really love playing this character. I liked creating him from the art of guys like David Mack," says D'Onofrio, later adding: "I was able to explain how I feel about the character and what motivates the character. Fisk is really driven by emotion. He's like a child and a monster — both at the same time — so it got very intense."
According to Tran, it was Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige who first suggested the idea of bringing the villain over from the world of Netflix's Daredevil show. "I think all of our jaws just kind of dropped in our Zoom meeting," the producer recalls. "And I was like, 'Wait, you're joking, right? This can't be serious. Are you serious? You really think that there's a chance that we can actually get Vincent D'Onofrio ... in this series as a cameo for a couple of scenes? He is our big boss?' Kevin [then] made a call to Vincent."
"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..." Feige says in the documentary (his only appearance throughout the whole hour-long special).
And when Mr. Feige, one of the most powerful creatives in Hollywood, comes knocking, you don't just turn him down. "He said I wanna bring you into the MCU," D'Onofrio remembers. "I'm not gonna say 'no' to that. That's pretty awesome."
Kingpin's fate was left ambiguous in the Hawkeye finale when it's heavily implied that the crime lord is shot in the face by his adopted niece, Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox). However, since we don't actually see the shooting take place on-camera, it's probably safe to assume that Fisk will return in the upcoming Echo spinoff. If Charlie Cox is also back (thanks to a Matt Murdock cameo in Spider-Man: No Way Home), there's just no way the MCU is keeping fans from another epic showdown between Kingpin and Daredevil.
All six episodes of Hawkeye are now streaming on Disney+.