Back in 2015, actor Vincent D’Onofrio was given a seemingly impossible task.
Bring an iconic Marvel villain, the Kingpin, to life in a Netflix live-action without the influence of Marvel Studios. Not an easy assignment when you consider that Marvel Studios was at the height of its Hollywood popularity at the time, and that other Marvel franchises outside of its scope (Fox’s pre-merger “X-Men” and Sony’s “Spider-Man”) were losing cool points for missing out on the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s interconnective party. But then a funny thing happened.
He actually did it. And did it very well.
Alongside Charlie Cox’s irreplaceable Daredevil, D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, a top-tier bad guy in Marvel villainy in the pages of the comic books, became one half of what might just be the best and most violently intense Marvel rivalry on-screen, between Hell’s Kitchen’s Man Without Fear and the Kingpin of Crime.
D’Onofrio and Cox crafted definitive versions of their respective comic book characters, so much so that when “Daredevil” was canceled by Netflix in 2018 to make way for all things Marvel at Disney Plus, D’Onofrio was convinced he would get to shave his head again sometime soon and return to the role.
That was not necessarily a sure thing. It was up to Marvel Studios and its president, Kevin Feige, to decide whether “Daredevil” and its universe would get a new life, as they gained control of the franchise.
“Charlie [Cox] and I talked about that all the time,” D’Onofrio told The Washington Post. “I actually just kind of knew that we were going to come back. My intuition told me that. I just couldn’t believe that they were just going to let that go. So, it wasn’t a surprise to me that we eventually got that call.”
Now, D’Onofrio and Cox’s Kingpin and Daredevil are Marvel Studios-certified. Cox made his first Marvel Studios appearance on the Disney Plus series