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Hawkeye directing duo Amber Templemore-Finlayson and Katie Ellwood (better known as Bert and Bertie) are two of the creative minds that brought the latest Marvel Disney+ show to life. In addition to introducing expert archer and Clint’s new marketing manager Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld) to the MCU, they also introduced Maya “Echo” Lopez (Alaqua Cox), the head of the tracksuit gang who took over when Ronin killed her father (Zahn McClarnon).
Bert and Bertie knew how important it was to introduce Maya, a deaf indigenous superhero, into the MCU. In a new interview with The Hollywood Reporter, they talked about how they approached portraying Maya on screen, and who they think should helm the Echo spinoff series instead of themselves.
“We love the character of Echo, but… the Native American story of [Echo], in our opinion, should really be told by someone in that community. That would be a wonderful thing if that could happen,” Bertie said.
To help make sure Echo was portrayed well in Hawkeye, the duo leaned on Cox, who — like Maya — is also deaf and indigenous. Cox was especially helpful to them on how to best portray American Sign Language, or ASL, on-screen.
“Alaqua [Cox] was a huge help with guiding us where she looks when she’s talking to someone,” Bertie said. “She looks at the whole person … We love getting in the emotion of closeups. But for the viewer, and especially the non-hearing community watching this, we wanted to ensure that we kept the hands in the frame and as much of the body as possible, and then punch in for a close-up moment. The other thing is that dialogue amongst deaf people and non-deaf people happens in your face, and often, there might’ve been a line for Alaqua where she said, ‘I don’t even need to say anything. My look will tell you everything that you need to see with the character of Maya.’”
Once Hawkeye ends, we might not see Echo again until her own Disney+ series premieres. There are still two episodes of Hawkeye left, however, and Echo will most likely be in both of them. Check out the next one this Wednesday, Dec. 15 on Disney+.