So this week we found out that Vincent D’Onofrio is going to be playing Wilson Fisk, AKA The Kingpin. This is, of course, the second big casting announcement from the Netflix and Marvel-produced series coming in 2015. So let’s talk Daredevil Casting.
We’ll come back to Mr. Fisk in a moment.
Back in May, it was announced that Charlie Cox would be taking on the role of Hell’s Kitchen’s favourite lawyer/superhero, Daredevil. After the sheer ridiculousness of the 2003 film starring Ben Affleck, many were wondering when Daredevil would get his second chance.
Netflix to the rescue. Here Marvel gets to really show off what they can do with characters that are not as popular as those in The Avengers. What better way than to bring the street level heroes like Daredevil, Luke Cage, Iron Fist and Jessica Jones to the small screen. Over the course of what will most likely be 13 episodes, they can better grow and develop these characters on the small screen.
Charlie Cox is an interesting choice since he, like Affleck before him, doesn’t necessarily fit the Matt Murdock role of a tall, redheaded man. However, after having seen Cox on Boardwalk Empire, I am confident he will play the character well. On Empire he played a character who had a great sense of soul but was also capable of great violence, something I think will suit him well in playing Murdock.
I’m not really worried about the hair colour or that he is English. I only worry about him capturing the essence of what makes Daredevil a favourite of comic fans. He needs to be played by Cox with all the baggage and repressed guilt from all the decisions he makes both as a hero and a lawyer. He needs those mental lumps to go along with his physical damage throughout the series. From my experience with the character, I have enjoyed it when Daredevil is pushed to the limits and may even break along the way. Whenever he’s hits that lowest point, he always rebuilds and fights his way back. That’s how I hope they play it.
Cox should excel at this version of the character which would play well with his innate charm and charisma. Murdock always seemed to me to be a very likable person who just so happens to be a superhero.
Now to Fisk… ah, Fisk.
Lets get right to the elephant in the room. The single best thing about the 2003 film was Michael Clarke Duncan as the Kingpin. He was great and I really enjoyed what he did and always had hoped that Marvel would consider bringing him back for the role. However, when he passed away in 2012, that ended. I think had he had the chance to come back to the role, he would have brought way more to the table this time. It’s simply too bad that can’t happen.
With Vincent D’Onofrio taking the role of Kingpin, we return to the more standard version of the character… that being a fat white guy. I wish Clarke was still around. I’m not saying that D’Onofrio will be bad. Far from it. I’m just saying that the character does not NEED to be white. Honestly the Kingpin could be African, Hispanic, Asian or anything else. At no point is there anything about the character that is specifically white.
Like Nick Fury before him, why not think outside the box and cast the character as more ethnically representative instead of just a fat white guy in a suit. The character was a guy who grew up in the street gangs of New York and rose to power with ruthless cunning and intelligence. Nothing says he can’t be of a more ethnically diverse background.
Regardless, I think that D’Onofrio will hit it out of the park. He is an absolute talent in his ability to perform on screen. I have been a fan of his work ever since I saw him in Full Metal Jacket. He is one of those actors who goes all out in whatever role he’s playing and reinvents himself each time. Also, he has shown in other roles that he has the right feel to give the Kingpin the undercurrent of violence and malevolence that’s required.
As the casting process continues, I look forward to the other announcements to come for Daredevil and the other Netflix shows as well. Hey, I can still dream of getting Sean Astin as Foggy Nelson, can’t I? Dare to dream I say. Still, things look to be on the right overall track, even with the departure of Drew Goddard and new replacement Steven S DeKnight as showrunner.
This looks to be another win for Marvel. Take note DC, take note! This is what getting things right for your product and fans both looks like.
If you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!