Why Kevin Feige decided to bring Kingpin into the MCU

It’s long been debated whether Netflix’s now-cancelled Marvel shows — e.g. DaredevilJessica Jones, and the like — exist within the wider Marvel Cinematic Universe. Despite a few subtle mentions of “the Incident,” there weren’t any real crossovers…until recently. Firstly, we saw Vincent D’Onofrio’s character Wilson Fisk, aka Kingpin, appear as the final villain in Hawkeye. Then Daredevil himself, Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), showed up as Peter Parker’s lawyer in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

During the Hawkeye episode of Marvel Studios: Assembled, executive producer Brad Winderbaum explained why Kingpin was not simply a fun cameo, but necessary to include:

We were all on a call, me and [Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige] and Trinh, and we were talking about the Tracksuit Mafia and the criminal organization behind this story, and we needed a really big threat, like something that, you know, would make Eleanor Bishop shake in her boots and Hawkeye, you know, get a little bit afraid. It had to be someone powerful.

Kevin Feige knew there was only one option: “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,” he said, hinting at Wilson Fisk.

Kevin Feige made the decision to bring Kingpin into the MCU

Still, everyone was a little shocked and surprised at the idea. Was it possible to get Vincent D’Onofrio to join in? When Fiege is overseeing things, anything is possible. “Kevin threw out the idea that ‘What if this could be Kingpin?’” Winderbaum remembered. “And I think all of our jaws just kind of dropping our Zoom meetings, and we’re kinda like, ‘Wait, you’re joking, right? This can’t be serious. Are you serious? This is… You really think that there’s a chance that we can actually get Vincent D’Onofrio, who plays Kingpin in Daredevil in the series, as a cameo for a couple of scenes? Like, he is our big boss?’ And Kevin made a call to Vincent.”

Ultimately, D’Onofrio was more than down to get involved. “He said ‘I want to bring you into the MCU’ and I’m not gonna say no to that,” the actor said. “That’s pretty awesome.”

And it was pretty awesome, but also controversial. In the Hawkeye finale, Fisk was seemingly shot by Echo. But since it occurred off-camera, we can assume he’s not dead. Perhaps his MCU story follows the same path as the comics, where Fisk get blinded.

With these crossovers, it’s clear that Marvel Studios wants to bring the stars of the Netflix shows into the MCU. Because of course, if Daredevil and Kingpin are now in the MCU, Iron Fist, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, and the Punisher can follow. It may just be a matter of time.

To stay up to date on everything fantasy, science fiction, and WiC, follow our all-encompassing Facebook page and sign up for our exclusive newsletter.

Get HBO, Starz, Showtime and MORE for FREE with a no-risk, 7-day free trial of Amazon Channels