How Hawkeye Kept Its Big Bad Guy Reveal a Secret

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Warning: this story contains spoilers for Wednesday’s Hawkeye Episode 5, “Ronin.” There’s a new big bad on Marvel’s Hawkeye. After warning his protege-slash-partner Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) about “the guy at the top” above Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) and the Tracksuit Mafia, Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) better watch out: the “big guy” is coming to town. No, not Santa Claus — William Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), the Kingpin of Crime. Episode 5, “Ronin,” ends with a reveal of the person seemingly in business with Eleanor Bishop (Vera Farmiga), Kate’s mother and CEO of Bishop Security, marking D’Onofrio’s first appearance since Season 3 of Marvel-Netflix’s Daredevil.

“The thing about Vincent is he and his doubles would arrive under cloaks because no one could see them,” Bert, one half of the directing duo Bert and Bertie, told Buzzfeed of D’Onofrio’s role in Episodes 5 and 6. “We were filming some things in public places and we had to get them to set. We realized the scale of how important it was to keep it a secret, so we would smuggle them in under black cloaks. Vincent and his doubles too because once you see his double, you would know it’s Kingpin.”

“It was really fun to see how we keep the secrecy in this Marvel world,” Bert added.

hawkeye-episode-5-kingpin.png(Photo: Marvel Studios)

RELATED STORY: Hawkeye Season Finale Trailer Teases Showdown With “The Big Guy”

Until Kingpin’s episode-ending cameo in “Ronin,” D’Onofrio’s rumored return was just that — a rumor. Episode 3, “Echoes,” hinted Kingpin was Maya’s much-mentioned and even more feared “Uncle”; in the comic books, Fisk is Maya Lopez’s adoptive father-turned-enemy.

D’Onofrio’s return is part of a bigger question: are the Marvel Television series produced for Netflix canon with the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Franchise chief Kevin Feige confirmed Daredevil star Charlie Cox would similarly reprise his role elsewhere in the MCU — in projects produced by Marvel Studios, not the now-defunct Marvel TV — causing some to question whether the Kingpin who shows up in Hawkeye is a continuation or a soft reboot.

“Everything is on the board,” Feige told The Hollywood Reporter in January about the since-canceled corner of the MCU on Netflix. “That’s one of the fun things about the comics is that characters would appear and disappear and come and go. All of it is inspiration for the future. There are some great characters and actors from those shows.”

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New episodes of Marvel’s Hawkeye premiere Wednesdays on Disney+.

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