‘Echo’ Director Sydney Freeland Teases What’s Ahead for Maya Lopez
"It's not the fate of the universe at stake. This is the fate of a family.”
The first trailer for Marvel Studios’ Echo has arrived, showcasing a different part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As Executive Producer and Director Sydney Freeland explained during a press day, viewers are about to see a street-level show, and the stakes aren’t “cosmic consequences. It's not the fate of the universe at stake. This is the fate of a family.”
For Freeland, the show is a marriage of two things she deeply loves — and never thought would come together in this way.
“I grew up reading comic books, and I grew up going to powwows,” She explains. “Like, powwows to me was like somebody in Anaheim going to Disneyland. That's how common an event it was for me. Those are two things that I grew up with that were so integrated into my personality and my experience, but those two never overlapped.”
Until Echo. “One of the most exciting things about this series is that these two things are going to come smashing together in a really great way. It was an amazing experience.”
In the series, set after the events of Marvel Studios’ Hawkeye, Maya returns home to Oklahoma and is faced with the consequences of choices she — and other family members — have made spanning the last few decades, both good and bad. As everything comes to a head, Maya must decide who, and what, she’s fighting for.
“We're going to delve further into the drama of this family and how they've all dealt with [situations] over the past 20 years,” Freeland continues, but that’s not the only focal point for the series. “We have this sort of two-pronged approach, there's this family drama sort of driving everything. But then there's this undercurrent of this fantastical side, which is that we are going to be visiting Maya's matrilineal ancestors, going quite a bit backward in time. Those two things, this family drama and these ancestral stories that we're going to see, are going to come head-to-head.”
There’s one other family member who’s looming large for Maya, literally, and who’s not related by blood. D’Onofrio returns as Wilson Fisk — aka Kingpin — for the series, even though in the final episode of Hawkeye the two had a close-quarters confrontation. Maya might have thought she saw the last of Kingpin, but he’s still got unfinished business with her.
“It's one of the core relationships in the entire series, the relationship between Kingpin and Maya, and we'll come to sort of find out that he’s become a kind of surrogate father to her,” Freeland explains. But even though he might be a father figure, he’s still the same Fisk viewers have come to know, and fear, over the years. Don’t expect any of his ways to have changed. “[The creative team] always talks about in the room how Kingpin's superpower isn't a strength. It's his intellect, and it's his ability to psychologically manipulate people.”
So, when Echo lands on Disney+, be prepared for a much different viewpoint into the MCU, as Freeland teases, “People in our show, they bleed. They die. They get killed. There are real-world consequences.”
No bad deed goes unpunished. Echo arrives simultaneously on Disney+ and Hulu January 10, 2024.
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