The Marvel installment centers on Indigenous deaf antihero Maya Lopez, played by Alaqua Cox, who first appeared in 2021 Disney+ series “Hawkeye.” However, “Echo” will take a “grittier” approach to the Marvel storytelling, according to Brad Winderbaum, head of streaming, TV, and animation at Marvel and an executive producer on the series.
“It is kind of a new direction for the brand, especially on Disney+,” Winderbaum said at a press event (via Variety).
“Echo” is the first Disney+ series rated TV-MA; the series will debut in its entirety, as opposed to typical Marvel weekly installments, on both Disney+ and Hulu, another first for both platforms. “Echo” marks the return of “Daredevil” stars Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio ahead of the new Daredevil Disney+ series which is currently in flux amid a series of reshoots and a shuffling of writers and directors.
“Echo” also stars Zahn McClarnon, Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal, Devery Jacobs, Chaske Spencer, and Cody Lightning. Catriona McKenzie also directs.
“Echo” director and executive producer Sydney Freeland noted that the series is set out to be different from other Marvel installments with “street-level” consequences that include fatalities and more violence.
“We wanted very, very adamantly to show that these are people on our show — they bleed, they die, they get killed and there are real consequences,” Freeland said, citing how the show is an “exploration of trauma — how we deal with it, how we cope with it, how it affects us, how we affect it, how it affects those around us.”
As for Marvel being behind the shift in more adult content, Freeland said, “They protect the shit out of their creatives. I felt absolutely protected and empowered.”
The titular superhero is an Indigenous deaf character, and Freeland met with the Choctaw Nation to form a partnership for onscreen representation and accuracy.
After Marvel’s Defenders series left Netflix in 2022 and moved to Disney+, the Parents Television Council (PTC) issued an open letter to Disney slamming the lack of “family friendly” content.
“It seems wildly ‘off-brand’ for Disney Plus to add TV-MA and R-rated programming to this platform, ostensibly to increase subscription revenue,” President of the Parents Television and Media Council Tim Winter wrote at the time. “So what comes next, adding live striptease performances in Fantasyland at Disney World? Its foray into TV-MA-rated fare will forever tarnish its family-friendly crown.”
Disney+ updated the parental control settings with the addition of “Daredevil,” “Jessica Jones,” “Luke Cage,” “The Defenders,” “The Punisher,” and “The Iron Fist” on the streaming platform.
“Echo” premieres January 10 on Disney+. Check out the trailer below.
– Armessa Movie News