Maya Lopez by Alaqua Cox immediately stood out when she appeared in Disney Plus’ Hawk Eye in 2021. Among a group of charismatic idiots and assassins with hearts of gold, Maya was a terrifyingly deadly foil, constantly reminding the audience and characters of what’s at stake. Disney was so taken with Cox’s portrayal of the deaf Native American heroine that he give the green light to a spin-off, and on Friday we got our first glimpse. We also received the surprising announcement that the show, Echo, would arrive simultaneously on Disney Plus and Hulu.
This new comes just days after Disney committed to buying Comcast’s stake in Hulu and just when we’re all starting to wonder what this means for the future of the smaller streaming service. Hulu doesn’t have nearly the same subscription base as Disney Plus, but what it does have to offer is live TV and a willingness to stream much more violent and “adult” content than Disney Plus, suitable for children.
I watch the trailer for Echo, which includes people being beaten to death and shot in the head, it’s pretty clear why this would make it to Hulu. This is where things like Y: The Last Manabout the graphic death of all creatures with Y chromosomes, and The Handmaid’s Tale, about the violently graphic subjugation of women in a patriarchal theocracy, stream. When Disney first launched Disney Plus, it differentiated the two services in the same way. Disney Plus was where you went to watch stuff with the whole family. Hulu is what you watched after the kids went to bed.
But as Disney has become more adventurous with programming on Disney Plus, the lines have blurred with more adult fare like Loki And Andor. First Echo, which stars a character that first appeared on Disney Plus, on Hulu makes sense in this context. Echo seems way too violent for Disney Plus – even though previous seasons of Daredevil And Jessica Jones (both originally produced for Netflix) are on the service.
But the series couldn’t have appeared on Hulu and not Disney Plus, given that Disney Plus is where the Marvel canon resides – hence the simultaneous release. I’m sure the fact EchoThe executive producer of , Sydney Freeland, previously worked on Reservation dogs at Hulu also helped.
The show will air on both services on January 10 and, as Variety noted in a story today, it will feature a largely Indigenous cast and make Maya’s Choctaw heritage an important part of the story. Notably, Vincent D’Onofrio’s Wilson Fisk also plays a big role in the series. Fisk was originally introduced on Daredevil and made a surprise return in Hawk Eye. Presumably, he will also return for the next season of Daredevilbut this show faces a major production overhaul after Marvel hated the direction of the series and its focus on courtroom dramas instead of the violent action sequences that helped the original series break out on Netflix.
If Daredevil plans to be as violent as Echo appears to be, it will likely appear on both streamers as well. SO Echo is, in a sense, a trial balloon for Disney as it seeks to make these two streamers work together, including the new one it is about to own.