Echo will launch a new chapter for the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
The Disney+ series, starring Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, will be the first one under Marvel’s Spotlight banner, which is rooted in Marvel Comics’ decades-long publishing history. In the comics, Spotlight was an anthology series introduced in 1971 that served as the origin of characters like Ghost Rider and Spider-Woman.
“Marvel Spotlight gives us a platform to bring more grounded, character-driven stories to the screen, and in the case of Echo, focusing on street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity,” Brad Winderbaum, the studio’s head of streaming, television and animation, shared on Marvel.com.
He continued, “Just like comics fans didn’t need to read Avengers or Fantastic Four to enjoy a Ghost Rider Spotlight comic, our audience doesn’t need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what’s happening in Maya’s story.”
Echo picks up after the events of Hawkeye and sees Maya face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward with her life, per its logline. Vincent D’Onoforio and Charlie Cox will return to the MCU ahead of Daredevil: Born Again for the series, which marks the start of Marvel’s foray into TV-MA ratings.
“It’s a little on the grittier side for Marvel and shows the breadth of what Marvel is capable of,” Winderbaum told a group of press who previewed several scenes from the show on the Disney lot in October. “It is sort of a new direction for the brand, especially for Disney+.”
During the same event, Echo director Sydney Freeland explained that the cause of the series’ drastically different tone from previous ones is that it follows a villain.
“People on our show — they bleed. They die,” Freeland said. “They get killed, and there are real-world consequences.”
All five episodes of Echo simultaneously hit Disney+ and Hulu on Jan. 10.