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‘Echo’ director Sydney Freeland on exploring the “grittier side” of Marvel

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All five episodes of Marvel Studios’ new series Echo are now available for streaming on Disney+.

The show spins off Alaqua Cox‘s deaf assassin Maya Lopez/Echo from Disney+’s Hawkeye, but many fans were surprised to learn the new show would be released under the new, more mature Marvel Spotlight banner.

Director and executive producer Sydney Freeland tells ABC Audio, “We saw the trailer launch and, for myself, just because I’ve been living with this for so long, you don’t think about how different that impact might be, you know?”

She adds with a laugh, “And then … I was texting with my producer and we were like, ‘The comments! The comments!"”

Freeland expresses, “When we initially came on board the project, I think one of the most interesting aspects about the character to me was the fact that she was a villain, you know?”

“And then having the conversations with Marvel … the response was … ‘Let’s see how far we can push the envelope,"” because Maya’s story is “more grounded” and “a little on the grittier side.”

Vincent D’Onofrio reprises as the brutal crime lord Wilson Fisk/Kingpin, who acted as an uncle to Maya in her youth. Freeland says, “You had two actors on opposite ends of the experience spectrum, right? You had Alaqua … this is her first real production, aside from a few days in Hawkeye. And then you’ve got Vincent, who has … worked with Stanley Kubrick and he’s done hundreds of episodes of television.”

She adds, “You put the two of them in … a room together. And they just they just click and they just vibe.” 

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