With Spider-Man’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe proper in this month’s Captain America: Civil War a big hit with fans, speculation has turned to what villain will he be facing off against in his solo film, Spider-Man: Homecoming, next summer?
Marvel Studios honcho Kevin Feige has previously stated that Homecoming‘s big bad will be one that Spider-Man has not previously faced on the silver screen before. And of course, such a quote set off a firestorm of speculation among fans as to whom they mysterious villain could be with the crime lord Kingpin leading the pack. And comes word that that guess might be correct.
Screen Geek is reporting from an anonymous “source close to the situation” that –
Marvel Studios is considering having Vincent D’Onofrio reprise his Wilson Fisk role from Daredevil in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
As the head of all crime in New York City, Kingpin showed up in a number of different Marvel comics set in the Big Apple. And given that all of those comics came out under the aegis of one publisher, it was fairly easy to do. But until recently, the use of the character in films had been a more complicated prospect. A look at the licensing agreement between Marvel and Sony for Spider-Man (revealed in the 2013 hack of Sony and fairly easily found at WikiLeaks) shows that the film rights for the Kingpin and the related characters of Vanessa his wife and his assistant Julius, were not owned outright by Sony but shared with Marvel. Furthermore, Sony could not use Kingpin in a film until Twentieth Century Fox’s rights to the character expired under the terms of that studio’s film rights agreement for the superhero Daredevil and related characters.
We know that Fox’s Daredevil rights expired back in the fall of 2012. That reversion of rights back to Marvel is what helped pave the way for the Netflix Daredevil series we’re enjoying today, especially D’Onofrio’s performance as the crime lord on Manhattan, the Kingpin. So it follows that, if this part of the agreement between Sony and Marvel has not changed since 2011, Sony could indeed use the character of Kingpin in Homecoming. Looking at the story from this angle holds water.
For his part, D’Onofrio has shown such an interest in the character that he would be up for going mano-a-mano with Spider-Man if given the chance. In an April 2015 interview with IGN the actor stated –
That would be super-cool, yeah. To be able to kick Spider-Man’s butt would be awesome. But we just don’t know about those things. Those are all the Marvel secrets that they never tell us until they need us, so… Yeah, I would do it. I would do it in second.
However, there have been continued rumblings of some separation between Marvel’s film operation and their television arm. It has come up in discussion as to whether heroes seen in the various Marvel Netflix series such as Daredevil and Jessica Jones and the upcoming Luke Cage and Iron Fist, could be pitching in to help with the two-part Avengers: Infinity War story. The degree of autonomy that both groups work with is being seen as a stumbling block as to why there hasn’t been more and stronger crossover between the two so far.
We’ve seen Kingpin be a formidable force in New York City, even when behind bars. I suppose that an appearance in Homecoming could preserve the character’s current and future status in the Netflix series. If all of the creative types can make it work.