When it comes to Marvel series over the years, Netflix’s Daredevil is way up there among the best of them. Before we had upcoming Marvel TV shows coming out of our ears on Disney+ like the past few years, Matt Murdock’s street-level escapades in Hell’s Kitchen shook up the superhero space and offered something new to audiences. After CinemaBlend was given a glorious preview of Echo at Burbank’s Walt Disney Studios, I’m happy to say Charlie Cox’s upcoming return to crimson leather looks to be a true return to form for fans of the gritty Netflix series.
The Echo trailer is here to offer a first look at the five-episode series. And, alongside select press, on behalf of CinemaBlend, I had the chance to see three scenes from this January’s Echo series. As a fan of the original Daredevil series, I was geeking out about the direction the showrunners have gone in for the next Marvel TV show. Echo is not simply a spinoff of Alaqua Cox’s villain in Hawkeye, it also marks the first time Charlie Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio’s Kingpin get to share another Marvel project since Daredevil was cancelled in 2018 after three seasons. The pair may be a side dish to Maya Lopez’s origins being explored, but I’m absolutely on board for it all after what I witnessed.
Echo’s Tone Is Reminiscent Of Daredevil
I won’t go into too much detail here, but one scene in particular was a thrilling fight scene involving Echo and Charlie Cox’s Daredevil. It completely took me back to the stylish and unrelentingly brutal choreography of the Netflix series that regularly resulted in my jaw dropping. What really sets the series apart from other shows we’ve seen on Disney+ thus far is the fact that Echo will be the first of the pack to have a TV-MA rating like Daredevil had, and it’ll premiere on both Disney+ and Hulu in early 2024.
Now I totally understand why Marvel Studios has kept things PG-13 thus far when it comes to its slate of movies and TV shows, and I don’t need a bowling ball-thrashing scene like Daredevil had to enjoy my superhero shows. Still, with the MCU being so big these days, it’s refreshing to see different heroes inspire different tones, and Maya Lopez’s series is certainly inspiring a welcome change of pace from Ms. Marvel, Loki or even Hawkeye.
Echo Has Me Excited For Daredevil’s Future In The MCU
After Daredevil’s guest appearances on She-Hulk were notably lighter, I’ve been so curious about what will be next for the superhero. While I don’t expect Charlie Cox’s Daredevil to take center stage too often in Echo, the footage I got to see shows that Marvel Studios isn’t afraid to lean back into darker territories. If Echo can play rough, perhaps so can Daredevil: Born Again!
Now the recent news about Daredevil: Born Again up to this point hasn’t exactly had me confident considering Marvel boss Kevin Feige reportedly fired its initial writers and directors, and is now shifting its creative strategy after hiring talent from Loki. But I walked away from the Echo introduction really stoked about the future of Matt Murdock. I love how we got to see him in a more classic MCU font with She-Hulk, and now he’s returning to his roots for Echo.
Kingpin Is A ‘Core’ Part Of The Show
The Daredevil character who appears to have even more of a spotlight than Matt Murdock in Echo is Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk, who, as fans of Hawkeye know, had rather tight ties to Maya Lopez. During the Walt Disney Studios presentation, head writer Sydney Freeland said this about Kingpin’s involvement in Echo:
I will say very large. It’s one of the core relationships in the entire series is the relationship between Kingpin and Maya. And we'll come to sort of find out that he's a, he becomes a kind of surrogate father to her. And there's, um, I'll leave it at that. It's one of the core relationships in the entire series, I'll say. I'll say that much.
Echo will take Maya Lopez’s story back to the beginning as the show starts with a tragedy she experiences as a young girl (long before her dad died) that leads to her New York City. Fisk takes her under his wing and Maya is raised under the reckless hands of Wilson Fisk as her mentor and father figure. As an audience, we know how messed up of a character Kingpin is, but it’s going to be especially interesting to see new brush strokes of the villain from someone who cares about him and was cared for by him.
Maya Lopez’s Origins Have Me Intrigued As Well
Along with Echo being pumped with more blood and guts, its emotional stakes are really exciting as well. The series is taking a really nuanced approach to Maya Lopez’s character. Her story has her operating in a much more grey area than the label hero or villain could give her. Freeland shared that the series is an “exploration of trauma: how we deal with it, how we cope with it, how it affects us.”
And not only does the Echo cast list include Daredevil alums, it’s also full of talent by famous native actors like Killers of the Flower Moon’s Tantoo Cardinal to Westworld’s Zahn McClarnon, who will play Maya’s family and friends. As the trailer teases, the series will have Maya learning stories of her Choctaw ancestors as she fights her own demons throughout the story.
Freeland herself is a native filmmaker, and she partnered with the Choctaw Nation during the filmmaking of Echo and employed a writer’s room full of not only native people, but people from the deaf community. It’s rather unique for a comic book title to center on a deaf character who doesn’t talk. From what I saw, the series has found some clever ways to implement action in ways that shows Maya’s strengths, along with showcasing how one’s lead doesn’t need to speak in order for the series to pull off an exciting arc for the character.
Consider me sold on Echo, which premieres on Disney+ and Hulu on January 10! While we wait, check out what 2023 TV premiere dates are left.