Kingpin Vincent D'Onofrio talks Marvel's 'Daredevil'
Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin in "Daredevil."
Vincent D’Onofrio almost sounds gleeful as he dodges the question.
The 55-year-old actor, speaking to QMI Agency over the phone, won’t talk very much about his character’s appearance in the upcoming Daredevil series from Netflix. D’Onofrio portrays businessman Wilson Fisk, whose interests in the future of New York City’s Hell’s Kitchen neighbourhood eventually push him into conflict with blind attorney Matt Murdock – also known as Daredevil.
Fisk, familiar to Marvel Comics readers as the imposing villain Kingpin, typically wears a white suit jacket and uses a walking stick. Ever since the Daredevil project and the partnership between Netflix and Marvel were announced – a deal which also includes shows featuring the characters Jessica Jones, Iron Fist and Luke Cage, plus a Defenders mini-series where they all team up – fans have been wondering about the costumes. Will Kingpin be sporting the white suit?
“I can’t talk about anything when it comes to that,” D’Onofrio says. “I’m not going to tell you. I’m… not… going… to… tell… you. All I can say is that he’s an impeccable dresser.”
He drags out the syllables of the second-last word so that it sounds like “im-pecc-a-able.” You can almost hear him grinning on the other side of the phone line. Could he be wearing the outfit right now?
Thankfully, we can still get a glimpse of his character this week, as Netflix has released images of Fisk that show him from the front – previously, we had only seen him from behind. In the shots, Fisk is actually dressed in black, but that could change during the series, right? In the same way, Matt Murdock is seen wearing a black ninja-style outfit in the show’s trailer, but we’re betting that he’ll be donning a version of the traditional red Daredevil suit by the end of season one.
The 13-episode first season hits the streaming service on April 10, and it also stars Charlie Cox (as the titular hero), Elden Henson (as Murdock’s friend and law partner Foggy Nelson), Rosario Dawson (as Claire Temple, Luke Cage’s girlfriend in the comics) and Deborah Ann Woll (as Karen Page, one of DD’s love interests from the comics). Prepare yourself for a gritty take on the Daredevil story, as executive producer and Marvel TV head Jeph Loeb (Heroes) recently told Entertainment Weekly that they’re approaching the series as “a crime drama first, superhero show second.”
Interestingly, the show – which is executive produced by Loeb, Drew Goddard (Sinister Six) and showrunner Steven S. DeKnight (Spartacus) – will also serve as a sort of origin story for both Matt Murdock and Wilson Fisk, with their story arcs eventually meshing together.
“He just wants to make the city a better place to live,” says D’Onofrio about his character. “And he wants to get it done without being flashy, or being in the limelight. And so circumstances come up that change that for him, and it forces him to step out of the darkness a little bit.”
The Brooklyn-born actor, also known for his roles in Full Metal Jacket, Law & Order: Criminal Intent and the upcoming Jurassic World, says he appreciates that the show was actually filmed in New York City. Many scenes from the critically panned 2003 Daredevil film, starring Ben Affleck, were actually shot in downtown Los Angeles.
“I do love the fact that Matt Murdoch and Wilson Fisk are both New Yorkers… I loved that, because it’s shot all over the city, and all over the ‘burbs and stuff. I think that it is going to be a very New York show.”
Before signing on to the project, D’Onofrio says that he was already familiar with Wilson Fisk from reading comics as a youngster – but he knew the character as a Spider-Man villain. And now that Spider-Man has joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe – which also includes the titles from this Netflix-Marvel deal – could Fisk and Spider-Man eventually face off on the big screen?
D’Onofrio says he’s already talked to Marvel’s Jeph Loeb about that sort of possibility.
“You never know with them, they’re always working on ideas for this Marvel universe,” he says. “But I know that they’re very happy with the Kingpin, the Wilson Fisk that we all came up with... I’d love to do it. I’ve always been into the whole comic book thing. To get to play a character like that was so much fun.”