Given that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is planned out years in advance, a task that’s become all the more impressive now that a cavalcade of Disney Plus shows have been added to the multiversal melting pot, you’d have thought the various talent involved in writing and directing these projects would be let in on the ground floor.
In the case of Hawkeye director Rhys Thomas, that wasn’t strictly the case. While he was clued in very early on as to where the overarching plot would be heading and how it would dovetail with other recent and upcoming Marvel efforts like Black Widow and Spider-Man: No Way Home, the revelation that Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin would be outed as the big bad wasn’t initially forthcoming.
In an interview with Variety, Thomas admitted that Kingpin wasn’t named specifically until much further along the development process, even though the filmmaker had a decent inkling that the former Netflix resident would be back.
“The Kingpin of it all was not on the cusp when I started the show, but I feel like his presence was never far. Like, we were always circling this other ‘big bad guy,’ but there was a moment when a Marvel executive came over and said, ‘You know, this is what we’re gonna do about that’. As far as a larger plan and a crossover with Spider-Man: No Way Home, I did not know that they would do that.
They do a wonderful job at Marvel of keeping everybody quite siloed, and I think they do this for your own security. People seem to sort of assume that there is this room where everything is all mapped out, but, no, they keep you kind of focused on your own show and only give you the information that they feel they need to give.”
No Way Home and Hawkeye traded background Easter Eggs to link them closer together, while a certain cameo in Tom Holland’s latest outing deepens the movie’s connection to D’Onofrio’s sleek and stylish crime boss, because nobody does connective tissue quite like the MCU.