‘Echo’ Will Debut Under Marvel Spotlight Banner, a New Division for Standalone Shows and Movies

These projects are still connected to the MCU but reportedly require less homework

Echo
Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez in Marvel's "Echo" (Credit: Disney+)

Disney+’s upcoming “Echo” will officially be the first series to debut under the Marvel Spotlight banner. The new sub-category will encompass standalone TV shows from the brand rather than those that are strictly connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

The Marvel Spotlight banner will have a new intro-logo and will be scored by Oscar winning composer Michael Giacchino to distinguish it from the MCU intro. “Echo” is set to debut on both Disney+ and Hulu on Jan. 10, 2024.

“Marvel Spotlight gives us a platform to bring more grounded, character-driven stories to the screen, and in the case of ‘Echo,’ focusing on street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity,” head of streaming for Marvel Studios Brad Winderbaum said ahead of a screening for the series at Choctaw Casinos & Resorts in Durant, Okla., as part of the Choctaw Nation’s annual Powwow. “Just like comics fans didn’t need to read Avengers or Fantastic Four to enjoy a Ghost Rider Spotlight comic, our audience doesn’t need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what’s happening in Maya’s story.”

It’s fitting that “Echo” would be the first title under this new banner as the series marks several firsts for the Disney+ era of Marvel series. Not only is it the first Marvel Studios series to be released all at once, it’s also the first one that will be simultaneously released on Hulu and Disney+ as well as the first TV-MA series the studio has produced.

This distinction is also coming at an important time for Marvel. As more and more movies and series have been released, a common criticism from fans revolves around the time commitment the MCU requires. It’s not uncommon for the latest Marvel movie to require viewers to have seen all of the Avengers movies, multiple movies revolving a singular hero and several seasons of Marvel television to fully understand what’ss happening onscreen.

There are movies and shows that have pulled away from this highly connected model. Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man” movies, for example, typically don’t require additional viewing outside of the main “Spider-Man” films. But as a whole, modern Marvel movies have developed a reputation for requiring homework to enjoy.

“Echo” follows Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) after she returns from New York to her hometown in Oklahoma. Once there, she has to reconnect with her Native American roots as she reconnects with her family and community. In addition to Cox, the series also stars Chaske Spencer, Tantoo Cardinal, Graham Greene and Cody Lightning.

But the standalone series isn’t completely devoid of Marvel’s love of connectivity. Set after the events of the Disney+ series “Hawkeye,” the series stars Vincent D’Onofrio as Kingpin and Charlie Cox as Daredevil, two characters who appeared in the Netflix Marvel show “Daredevil.”

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