(Warning: The following contains potential — albeit entirely speculative — plot SPOILERS for future shows and movies within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, as well as some relating to past Marvel-themed Netflix shows. Proceed with whatever level of caution your preternaturally heightened senses suggest to you is wise.)
Now, while the movies of the #MCU have long been widely criticized for featuring bland, homogeneous villains, that's not a charge that can be easily leveled at the Netflix corner of #Marvel's burgeoning on-screen empire. Indeed, each one of the four Marvel-themed #Netflix series' that we've seen thus far has featured at least one fantastically realized villain — just as long as you're willing to consider The Punisher the villain of #Daredevil Season 2.
Vincent D'Onofrio's Kingpin Is Definitely Returning To The MCU
That, at least, is what the actor's recent comments on the subject would seem to suggest. As D'Onofrio recently put it during an interview with Collider, having been asked when The Kingpin will return to the MCU:
"He will, eventually. Honestly, I wish I knew ‘cause I could plan my year better. I know he will come back, I just don’t know when. I can’t wait to find out. I’m totally into the Marvel stuff, big time. I want to do Marvel, all the time. I love it so much ‘cause they’re so creative over there. They let you bring this whole new thing to an iconic thing that they invented. It’s just so much fun. I love it to death. I want to see Captain Marvel and Wonder Woman. There’s something about those movies. I dig the shit out of them. I’ve been tweeting back and forth with James Gunn, about doing something with him because I love 'Guardians of the Galaxy' so much."
Which, if we were to take D'Onofrio's comments at face value, would seem to suggest that The Kingpin will indeed return, but not until after the currently scheduled crop of — already shooting — Marvel/Netflix shows. Which would of course write off an appearance in #IronFist and #ThePunisher, as well as, presumably, #TheDefenders, all of which are well on their way.
That being said, of course...
Could We Actually See The Kingpin Return Much Sooner Than We Think?
After all, D'Onofrio has previously proven himself willing and able when it comes to keeping a surprise appearance under wraps, with his role in Daredevil Season 2 proving a surprise to most of us. As such, it's not all that implausible to imagine that he could yet pop up in one of 2017's upcoming Netflix projects, with both The Punisher and The Defenders seemingly screaming for a cameo, at the very least.
What's more, there have long been rumblings that D'Onofrio could yet prove to be the first Marvel Television star to make the tricky transition to the big screen, with an appearance in the upcoming #SpiderManHomecoming having been heavily rumored. That, of course, would be a fairly out-there move on Marvel's part, but with #SpiderMan and The Kingpin having a long history of conflict, it's certainly not impossible, especially if it took the form of a post-credits sting.
If D'Onofrio Isn't Messing With Us, Though, Then When Will The Kingpin Be Back?
Well, assuming D'Onofrio is being entirely truthful when he says he has no idea when he's set to return, then we can perhaps parse his comments for a fairly accurate idea. After all, he mentions "planning his year better," which would seem to suggest that he may have been given a hint that his services would be required in the near future. Which, with Daredevil Season 3 and Jessica Jones Season 2 seeming the most likely candidates to begin filming after The Defenders, would seem to make one of them the favorite.
Alternatively, of course, a combination of the two may well be possible, with the events of, say, The Defenders perhaps leading to a Kingpin cameo, and a follow-up leading role in 2018. Jessica Jones does need a new nemesis, after all, and The Kingpin's never been much of a fan of people poking their noses into his business...
What do you think, though? When do you think Vincent D'Onofrio will return to the the MCU fold? Let us know below!