Everything We Know

Marvel's Echo: Release Date, Trailer, Cast & More

We break down the cast, the characters, the creators, the setting, and everything you need to know before you tune in to the standalone MCU miniseries.

by | January 8, 2024 | Comments

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Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) never has it easy. Introduced as another romantic interest for Matt Murdoch aka Daredevil in the pages of Marvel comics, the character has bounced around Manhattan in various guises and with varying purposes ever since. At one point, she even adopted the Ronin persona — which is why she made her Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in the Hawkeye Disney+ series. As played by Cox, the character made a strong impression on the Marvel brass, who soon greenlit a spin-off series for her. In its final form, Echo will be a five-episode miniseries delivered in one day on both Disney+ and Hulu.

What changed? Let’s take a look at everything we know about the series and see if we can’t find the moment when Maya’s MCU fate was altered.

Maya’s Journey Continues

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios' Echo

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/©Marvel Studios)

As revealed in Hawkeye, Maya followed in her father’s footsteps leading the Tracksuit Mafia. Deaf and using a prosthetic leg, she is a gifted fighter and tactician, but her father’s death left her with a mission of revenge: kill Ronin, the cover identity used by Clint (Jeremy Renner) when he became a masked assassin in the Blip era. As it turns out, he was ultimately led to Maya’s father by Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio), the criminal Kingpin of New York. Complicating matters, though, Fisk considers Maya to be his niece.

At the conclusion of Hawkeye, Maya shot Fisk in the eye and chose to leave him and Manhattan behind. Echo picks up the thread with Maya making her way to Oklahoma in an attempt to reconnect with the larger portion of her Native American family. Of course, escaping the Kingpin is no easy task, as he and plenty of his goons pursue her across the country. And if the trailers for the miniseries are any indication, she will have to fight Fisk again.

Vincent D’Onofrio as Wilson Fisk/Kingpin in Marvel Studios' Echo

(Photo by ©Marvel Studios)

Along the way, though, viewers will be introduced to Maya’s extended family, other characters in Oklahoma, and enjoy a visit from the Daredevil of Hell’s Kitchen (Charlie Cox – no relation to Alaqua, incidentally). Though intended to be a standalone tale far from the cosmic shenanigans of the Multiverse Saga — therefore no homework is required beyond maybe a quick rewatch of Hawkeye — the presence of Daredevil and Kingpin means some ideas may carry onto into their next show, Daredevil: Born Again. But if Disney and Marvel’s messaging is to be believed, one can come to Echo fresh and enjoy a grittier, TVMA-rated story more closely resembling the Netflix Daredevil series than Hawkeye’s Christmastime romp or the wild special effects extravaganzas of the last few theatrical films.

Of course, rumors persisted that it was a particularly troubled production, and the decision to make it Marvel Studios’ first binge show did nothing to dissuade that sentiment. Nevertheless, the trailers indicate it may actually be something fans have been asking for since at least Hawkeye concluded: an action-packed drama with no ties to the ongoing saga. Will it work? That remains to be seen.

Where The Wind Sweeps Down The Plain

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios' Echo

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/©Marvel Studios)

At the top level, Echo is set in the customary 616 universe seen in most Marvel Studios productions (Loki and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness being the key exceptions), which means it enjoys the shared history of the Blip, the Battle of New York, and the events of Hawkeye. Presumably, a few scenes will take place in Manhattan, but the bulk of the program will concern itself with the small Oklahoma town Maya’s extended family calls home.

That’s a fairly big departure from the urban environments of most Marvel stories. Originally headquartered in New York, Marvel has been big on city living since the debut of the Fantastic Four in 1961. Marvel film and television efforts have done likewise, so the small-town feel will be something relatively fresh for the MCU. Additionally, moving the action out of the New York area means Maya comes from the Choctaw tribe, adding a new specificity to her background and that of her family.

A (Mostly) New Cast Of Characters

Zahn McClarnon as William Lopez, Devery Jacobs as Bonnie, Graham Greene as Skully, and Tantoo Cardinal as Chula Battiest in Marvel Studios' Echo

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/©Marvel Studios)

Besides Cox, D’Onofrio, and Charlie Cox, the series introduces an almost entirely new cast of characters. Chaske Spencer appears as Henry, Devery Jacobs plays Bonnie, and Cody Lightning takes on the role of Cousin Biscuits. Additionally, Graham Greene will appear as Skully, with Tantoo Cardinal as Chula, and Zahn McClarnon reprising his role as Maya’s father, William Lopez.

Also, Darnell Besaw will recur as a younger version of Maya.

Little is known about the characters or how they relate to Maya. Some will undoubtedly be family, while others populate the town. D’Onofrio’s Fisk and Charlie Cox’s Daredevil are known quantities. Fisk wants Maya back and Daredevil… Well, more on him in a moment.

Curiously, Maya’s ability to mimic an opponent’s fighting style has been abandoned in favor of highlighting her overall prowess. It remains to be seen, though, if this means the miniseries will be free of any fantastical powers. Indeed, Hawkeye featured Fisk’s more preternatural strength and endurance, a departure from his depiction in the Netflix series.

And speaking of strange powers, another persistent rumor suggests Daredevil’s guest spot in the series revolves around him looking for a fellow Defender, the super-strong Jessica Jones (played by Krysten Ritter in Netflix’s Jessica Jones series). It is unclear if this is true or if the character will be seen at all. Considering Marvel’s attempts to disentangle Echo from ongoing developments and the creative rethink occurring on Daredevil: Born Again, it is possible this idea has been dropped.

The Team Behind Echo

Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel Studios' Echo

(Photo by Chuck Zlotnick/©Marvel Studios)

Initially developed by Etan Cohen and Emily Cohen, Marion Dayre and Amy Rardin serve as head writers with pilot director Sydney Freeland also taking a piece of creative control. Dayre and Freeland are also executive producers alongside Kevin Feige, Stephen Broussard, Louis D’Esposito, Brad Winderbaum, Victoria Alonso, Jason Gavin, and Richie Palmer.

The writing team also includes Gavin, Josh Feldman, Steven P. Judd, Ken Kristensen, Ellen Morton, Shoshannah Stern, Rebecca Roanhorse, Bobby Wilson, and Chantelle Wells.

Additional crew includes directors of photography Kira Kelly and Magdalena Gorka; editors Joel Pashby and Amelia Allwarden, costume designers Ambre Wrigley and Stacy Caballero; and composer Dave Porter and Mato Standing Soldier.

The miniseries was filmed from April 2022 to August of that year at Marvel’s Atlanta, Georgia base of operations and other parts of the state. After shooting wrapped, rumors of the troubled production appeared. According to Jeff Sneider on his Hot Mic Podcast, Echo was planned as an eight-episode series but was reportedly “unreleasable” in its original state. Extensive reshoots were ordered and, at one point, word began to spread that the problems led to Marvel delaying the release of Loki’s second season and a reshuffle of the theatrical schedule. In the time since, though, it became clear that Marvel’s production issues were more widespread than a single project, as revealed by a Hollywood Reporter article published in October of this year.

A Debut Of Firsts

Originally set to debut in November of 2023, Echo will be available in its entirety on January 9, 2024 at 9pm as the first “Marvel Spotlight” release; a banner meant to indicate stories with few ties to the major ongoing saga. In another first, the miniseries will be available on both Disney+ and Hulu, highlighting stronger ties between the two platforms as Disney completes plans to buy out Comcast’s share in the latter streaming service. That said, the program will leave Hulu on April 9, 2024, but presumably remain on Disney+’s Marvel hub. Meanwhile, the long-term future of Echo is clear: It is a miniseries with no plans for a second season.

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