While Runaways likely won’t be crossing over with Marvel’s Netflix characters anytime soon, one performer was still inspired by the MCU’s Kingpin. Though most of the actors cast to play the heroes of Runaways are relative unknowns, the upcoming Hulu series pulled in some well-known genre actors to portray their villainous parents. While the Pride is a constant presence in the Runaways comics, the show will delve deeper into their lives. Among them will be characters like Victor Stein, played by former Buffy the Vampire Slayer mainstay James Marsters.
In the comics, Runaway Chase is a dumb jock archetype that’s fallen far from the tree of his parents. As two genius inventors, Chase’s parents are the ones responsible for creating the tech that Chase regularly uses. Because of this, they’re presented as typical inventor types, not likely to get their hands dirty in the Prides’ criminal affairs. Marsters’ casting, however, hints towards a more nefarious take on the character of Victor on the Runaways TV show.
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Nerdist spoke with Marsters about his role as Victor Stein, and the actor revealed that he was heavily inspired by Vincent D’Onofrio’s take on Kingpin for Daredevil:
“He [Vincent D’Onofrio] did a Kingpin that so surprised me. It was in so many ways exactly opposite of what I was expecting, of what I’d read in the comics. In the comics, Kingpin is always charming. He’s an extrovert. He’s in control of any social situation. And in private he’s mean and that’s the contrast. Vincent just flipped it 180° and went for the vulnerabilities and the insecurities in the character. He was able to bring out a sophistication that you can’t get in a static image.”
There’s no telling yet how Marsters will channel this inspiration, but it could result in a villain that’s the opposite of D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk. While D’Onofrio made Kingpin more vulnerable, perhaps Marsters will use the same energy to imbue Victor with more menace. He certainly looks to be more than willing to throw down in the Runaways trailers. Likely, that will manifest as combative behavior towards his son Chase, who Victor believes isn’t living up to his potential. According to Marsters:
“For Chase, I want the same thing that every parent wants for their child, which is for their child to reach their potential. Chase is a genius. He has an IQ that surpasses technical genius level, and Victor is the same. And I think he recognizes that his son is every bit as smart as he is. Chase is not necessarily living up to his potential at this point, so I’m pushing him. And sometimes being a good parent is allowing yourself not to be liked.”
Chase will build his own Fistigons in Runaways, proving the character will be made significantly more tech-savvy on the TV series than he was in the comics. It seems that the minds behind the Runaways TV show have tweaked a number of characters along the way, but hopefully the changes will all be for the better.
Runaways premieres November 21 on Hulu.