Warning: The following contains spoilers from Wednesday’s Hawkeye finale.
Three years after Daredevil ended, Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, returned to form in Hawkeye to take back what is rightfully his. The Disney+ series saw him working with Kate’s mom Eleanor Bishop as well as pressuring Tracksuit Mafia henchman Kazi to remind everyone that New York belongs to him.
“I think the Blip has happened, and I think his kingdom took a bit of a hit and he’s trying to get his city back,” Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays the fan-favorite villain, tells TVLine.
The actor also confirms that this version of Fisk is the same we saw in Daredevil. “That’s how I played him, and I think that was the general idea,” D’Onofrio explains. But while he’s the same guy, there were some notable differences. For starters, the Disney+ series established him as Maya’s “uncle” and leader of the Tracksuit Mafia. Plus, his ability to rip the door off a car when confronting Eleanor Bishop painted him as a much stronger man than we saw in Daredevil.
“Obviously, in the show he’s physically stronger and can take more physical abuse. But emotionally, and as far as the history that was discussed, it was done with an eye on connecting as many dots from Daredevil to Hawkeye as possible,” D’Onofrio says. “There are obviously things that we can’t connect — for instance, he’s stronger — but as far as how I played him and the history that I carry myself from and into Hawkeye, he is the same guy.”
Episode 5 had revealed that Fisk had Maya’s father William killed by Ronin. Maya confronted her uncle about said betrayal in Wednesday’s finale, and Fisk pleaded with Maya through their familial bond. But was he being genuine or putting on a performance?
“The thing about Wilson Fisk is that people are always suspect to what he’s actually thinking, and that’s what’s cool about it,” D’Onofrio shares. “There’s a way to play that character, where you just don’t know if he’s really feeling anything but his own narcissism, and so his heart may be in it. Maybe it is, maybe it’s not.”
What’s also unclear is whether he got through to her. Maya definitely fired her gun, but we didn’t see where she aimed. In the comics, that confrontation ended with the lethal assassin blinding Fisk rather than killing him. With Fisk’s fate unclear, D’Onofrio hopes he can continue playing the character.
“There are many facets to the character that could be explored, so I only can hope that we continue,” he says. “It’s not the first time I’ve had to walk away from this character, but we’ll see.”
With Charlie Cox confirmed to be reprising his role as Matt Murdock aka Daredevil in the MCU, D’Onofrio isn’t opposed to a Daredevil reunion, should Fisk still be alive.
“I would love for that,” he says. “It hasn’t crossed my mind a lot; I’ve kind of walked away from Daredevil. For a bit, I thought it might come back, but it’s been years now. I gave up on that [possibility]. But I didn’t know that I was going to get a call from [Marvel Studios chief] Kevin [Feige], either, so everything’s up for grabs. I had no idea that I would do Hawkeye.”
If given the chance to play Fisk again, D’Onofrio would also like to square off against a few other adversaries: “In the comic runs, it was Punisher, Spider-Man and Daredevil. That would be cool,” he notes.
There’s also the Maya-led Echo spinoff, which has already been ordered to series at Disney+. “[Exploring] the relationship with Maya would be cool,” the actor adds. “It was actually one of the things when I researched Daredevil that I remembered as one of my favorite runs, when he took her under his wing.”