‘Hawkeye’ directors reveal how they kept Kingpin’s return a secret

by Keane Eacobellis

After a few weeks of teasing, Hawkeye officially confirmed that Daredevil star Vincent D’Onofrio is returning to the MCU as New York’s biggest, baddest crime boss the Kingpin in its penultimate episode. Now the cat is out of the bag, series directors Bert & Bertie have opened up about the lengths they went to in order to keep the arrival of Matt Murdock’s nemesis a secret beforehand.

In a fascinating debrief about the many treats that episode 5 had to offer, including every single thing that Florence Pugh’s Yelena Belova does, Bert & Bertie told BuzzFeed that the production team were so hot on secrecy that even D’Onofrio’s stunt doubles had to be hidden under cloaks in order to prevent leaks.

Bert explained, “The thing about Vincent is he and his doubles would arrive under cloaks because no one could see them. 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.”

Episode 5 dropped the bombshell in its final scene, when Yelena sent Hailee Steinfeld’s Kate Bishop an incriminating photo of her mother Eleanor (Vera Farmiga) meeting with Kingpin, the true boss of the Tracksuit Mafia. The episode’s last shot revealed the photo to the audience, unveiling the white-suited Wilson Fisk.

Bertie explained that various versions of the big reveal were toyed with before the directors eventually settled on the way things played out on screen.

“It was always going to be big, and there were a few iterations of how the Kingpin reveal was going to happen,” Bertie said. “So, it was a real pleasure to be part of that.”

After going to such lengths to keep D’Onofrio’s return under wraps, it’s somewhat surprising that the show ended up lampshading Kingpin’s comeback very early on. Episode 3 featured a headless shot of Fisk (clearly a stunt double) with the unmistakable chuckle of D’Onofrio also heard. While that meant episode 5’s cliffhanger wasn’t totally expected, then, it did ensure fans were well-hyped for more of Fisk, with a lot of positive word of mouth spread online.

Expect Kingpin to make his evil impact felt in the incoming season finale of Marvel’s Hawkeye, premiering on Disney Plus this Wednesday, Dec. 22. After that, D’Onofrio likely has a key role to play in spinoff series Echo.