The first person Kingpin actor Vincent D'Onofrio talked to about joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Hugh Jackman -- who encouraged him to play a villain.
During a Marvel News Desk podcast episode, D'Onofrio recalled a conversation he had with fellow superhero genre actor Jackman not long after the MCU began. "The only thing that was on my radar at that point when it came to superhero stuff was Robert [Downey Jr.]'s performance in Iron Man, which I thought was extremely impressive," D'Onofrio began. "I think I was actually with Hugh Jackman -- he was over at my house 'cause our kids went to the same school, and we were sitting at my patio . . . and I said, 'This superhero stuff is really turning out to be interesting,' and he goes, 'Yeah!' And I'm like, 'You know, I think one day I'm gonna get the chance to play one of those bad guys, and I think I could tear it up.' He goes, 'Yeah, I think you could too.'"
D'Onofrio debuted as the overarching antagonist of the Marvel/Netflix series Daredevil in 2015. His performance as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin was highly regarded by fans and critics alike, and the character appeared in the series until its cancelation in 2018. Rumors of D'Onofrio's return as Kingpin in the MCU Disney+ series Hawkeye began swirling as early as July 2021 and were proven true when Hawkeye's fifth episode, "Ronin," premiered on Disney+ in December.
While D'Onofrio joined the superhero craze at its height, Jackman was part of its infancy. The actor debuted as Wolverine/Logan in the 2000 smash-hit film X-Men and went on to reprise the iconic role in X2, X-Men: The Last Stand, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, The Wolverine,X-Men: Days of Future Past and Logan. He also had uncredited cameos in X-Men: First Class and X-Men: Apocalypse.
In Kingpin's final Hawkeye scene, he is seemingly shot in the face by Maya Lopez/Echo after she learns he had orchestrated her father's murder. While some fans were shocked Marvel Studios would re-introduce D'Onofrio just to kill him off, many pointed out the scene homages a similar storyline from 1999's Daredevil #10 by David Mack, Joe Quesada, Jimmy Palmiotti, Richard Isanove and Richard Starkings. In that issue, Maya also shoots Kingpin in the face, but he later appears alive -- yet blinded by the injury. Regardless, it's currently unknown whether Marvel has any future plans for D'Onofrio's Kingpin in the MCU.
All six episodes of Hawkeye are currently available to stream on Disney+.
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