Until Deadpool 3 finally escapes from development hell and makes it onto our screens, the Marvel Cinematic Universe will remain a staunchly PG-13 operation.
Kevin Feige has even gone on record explaining why the Merc with a Mouth’s return is the only one of the 30+ projects in development geared exclusively towards older audiences, but it didn’t have much of an effect on Vincent D’Onofrio’s return as Kingpin in Disney Plus series Hawkeye.
Netflix’s lineup of Marvel shows were all TV-MA, allowing for greater use of blood, violence, and profanity, which perfectly suited the grittier aesthetic. However, the actor admitted to ComicBook that he knew he wouldn’t be able to push things anywhere near as far under the Disney banner.
“I think the [different] tones are obvious. I think it’s less bloody. We talked a lot about it, and for me, it’s not a worry, because if I ever get the chance to take it further with the MCU, then I’m going to do the same work I did on Daredevil, like I did in Hawkeye. [Fisk is] about emotional brutality, and he is just a mess. He’s a broken monster, and he is capable of many different kinds of brutality…so none of that worried me during Hawkeye.
I did notice obviously that there’s less blood and there’s less torture.The thing you have to do is, you have to stay away from torture, and that really cuts things down. A lot of baddies that you play, they’re not just baddies, but they also actually torture people. They get control of them, and torture, and that’s too hardcore. So that’s out for Hawkeye, and hopefully something will happen after this.”
Kingpin doesn’t need to snap necks, break bones, or dole out gratuitous punishment in order to be threatening, and there wasn’t exactly a huge number of people clamoring for him do so in the aftermath of his hotly-anticipated comeback.
D’Onforio is more than capable and experienced enough to make the smaller, character-driven moments just as impactful as the violent outbursts showcasing the full breadth of Wilson Fisk’s unbridled fury, so working in the PG-13 arena didn’t hinder his performance in the slightest.