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Disney+ aiming for 'Hawkeye' spinoff series about Alaqua Cox's Echo

By Josh Weiss

DC's Zatanna isn't the only comic book heroine to receive good news today. Variety brings word that Disney+ and Marvel Studios are currently in the early stages of developing a Hawkeye spinoff series for Maya Lopez, aka Echo (played by newcomer Alaqua Cox). Staying close to the comics' depiction of the character, the show will present Lopez as a deaf Native American girl who can perfectly mimic another person's movements (hence her fitting hero name).

It's a unique talent also shared by the mysterious villain known as Taskmaster, who will make their MCU debut in Black Widow. We brings this up because Hawkeye is set to feature one of the movie's supporting players: Yelena Belova (Florence Pugh). Coincidence? Not likely. Cox was confirmed as part of the show's ensemble cast last December along with Pugh, Zahn McClarnon (taking on the role of Maya's father, William Lopez), Vera Farmiga (Eleanor Biship), and Tony Dalton (Jack Duquesne).

The brainchild of David Mack and Joe Quesada, Echo first appeared in the pages of a Daredevil comic from the late 1990s. She attempted to kill the Man Without Fear after Wilson Fisk convinced her that Daredevil was responsible for the death of her father, Willie "Crazy Horse" Lincoln (a criminal associate of Fisk's). Of course, Kingpin was actually behind the murder, but promised Willie that he'd give the girl a good life. He did just that, but ended up shot in the face by Maya once she learned the truth. Years later, she traveled to Japan, took on the new identity of Ronin (the first Marvel hero to do so), and helped bring down felonious enterprises like Hydra and the Hand.

Currently in production, Hawkeye takes place after the events of Avengers: Endgame. Jeremy Renner is returning to play Clint Barton, who decides to pass on his arrow-shooting mantle to a young protégée: Hailee Steinfeld's Kate Bishop. The finished product could very well hit the bullseye later this year, but no specific date has been announced yet. When the project was first announced at SDCC 2019, Disney had it scheduled for a fall 2021 release. Due to the production struggles caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, however, that window is subject to change.

If the Echo project ends up moving forward, it will be one of many MCU outings formatted for the small screen. Loki, What If...?, She-Hulk, Ms. Marvel, Moon Knight, Armor Wars, Secret Invasion, Ironheart, I Am Groot, and a Guardians of the Galaxy holiday special are all on the horizon. WandaVision already proved how popular these parallel adventures can be and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier is riding that wave of goodwill as it prepares to release its second episode this coming Friday (March 26).