There is plenty of rough stuff in the trailer released Friday by Marvel.
Just how bloody and badass is Echo, the upcoming Marvel Comics-inspired limited-run series focused on the deaf Native American anti-hero last seen in the Marvel series Hawkeye? According to Variety, The Hollywood Reporter and other outlets, it will be the first Marvel Series to get the TV-MA rating.
“It’s a little on the grittier side for Marvel, and shows the breadth of what Marvel is capable of,” Brad Winderbaum, Marvel Studio’s head of streaming, television and animation, said during an October press gathering. “It is sort of a new direction for the brand, especially for Disney+.”
It will also be the first Marvel Studios series to debut simultaneously on Disney+ and sister streaming service Hulu when all episodes are available for binging Jan. 10.
As C&I reported earlier this year, deaf Native American newcomer Alaqua Cox, who grew up on the Menominee Indian Reservation in Wisconsin, stars as Echo, reprising the character she played in Hawkeye. When first announcing production of the series, the first to feature a Native American superhero, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige noted that Echo also will showcase the work of an “incredible team of Indigenous writers, directors and cast members” that includes co-stars Zahn McClarnon (Dark Winds, Longmire), Graham Greene (Dances With Wolves, Wind River), Chaske Spencer (Wild Indian, The English), Tantoo Cardinal (Smoke Signals, Killers of the Flower Moon), Devery Jacobs (Rutherford Falls, Reservation Dogs) and Cody Lightning (Smoke Signals, Four Sheets to the Wind), and directors Sydney Freeland (Reservation Dogs, Drunktown’s Finest) and Catriona McKenzie (The Walking Dead, Shining Vale).
In Hawkeye, starring Jeremy Renner as the titular avenging archer, Maya Lopez — a.k.a. Echo because of her ability to perfectly copy another person’s movements — prowled on the dark side. Specifically, she served as leader of the Tracksuit Mafia, minions employed by her adoptive uncle, New York crime boss Wilson “Kingpin” Fisk (played by Vincent D’Onofrio). The new series has Maya seeking a shot at redemption in her Oklahoma hometown, where she must face her past, reconnect with her Native American roots — and embrace the meaning of family and community if she ever hopes to move forward.
Unfortunately, Kingpin is still around, having survived Maya’s attempt to violently conclude their relationship. In Echo, however, he has to contend with another handicap-transcending opponent: Lawyer Matt Murdock, the blind lawyer who moonlights as the masked vigilante known as Daredevil. Charlie Cox — no relation to Alaqua Cox — will be repeating his Matt Murdock role from the 2015-18 Netflix series Daredevil, the same show where D’Onofrio first appeared as Kingpin.
Viewers can prepare themselves for the rough stuff in Echo by taking a look at the trailer — complete with Choctaw subtitles! — Marvel released Friday.