Hollywood newcomer Alaqua Cox has made a big impression with her work on the latest Disney+ streaming series, Hawkeye. Cox, a Deaf, Native American amputee, impressed Marvel Studios execs so much during filming that they quickly moved to create a spinoff series centered on the character. Her character, Maya Lopez, has ties to both Wilson Fisk and Matt Murdock, two characters that are expected to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Sacred Timeline next week. She also has ties to Moon Knight, and the Avengers and could easily become a mainstay in the next 5-10 years of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe.
The spinoff series, Echo, is expected to film this coming Spring and already has an impressive writers’ room, led by Better Call Saul scribe Marion Dayre. That room is replete with both Deaf and Native American writers. The incredible talent includes Rebecca Roanhorse, Bobby Wilson, Shoshannah Stern, and Josh Feldman. While Dayre was kind enough to share with us the talents who would be helping her craft Echo’s journey in the MCU, what she didn’t share was who might be behind the camera. As all of you reading this certainly know, when we connect the imaginary dots, we are simply speculating, but at this point in time, it seems safe to speculate that we may have identified one of the directors of the upcoming Marvel Studios Disney Plus streaming series Echo.
At this point, there is enough evidence to make a reasonable claim that Sydney Freeland will direct one or even all of the episodes of Echo. As you can see, Freeland is following Cox, Dayre, Roanhorse, and Bobby Wilson, who like the others above was named by Dayre as a writer. An abundance of data points like this cannot be considered confirmation, but it can absolutely fuel the speculation that she could be working on the project.
And she is EXACTLY the type of talent Marvel Studios should be trying to land for a project of this magnitude. Freeland, a transgender Navajo/Scotch, won two awards at the 2014 American Indian Film Festival for Drunktown’s Finest, recently directed two episodes of Taika Waititi’s FX series, Reservation Dogs, which follows a group of indigenous teens for which Wilson also worked. She has also directed episodes of Grey’s Anatomy, P-Valley, Fear the Walking Dead, and Rutherford Falls. Coincidentally, Zahn McClarnon, who memorably plays Maya’s dad, Willie Lopez, in Hawkeye also starred in Reservation Dogs.
Freeland is uniquely poised to helm one or all episodes of Echo. She is a director whose career trajectory is ascending and fulfills Marvel Studios’ continued efforts to ensure diverse perspectives are behind their projects. Only in the very recent past has Echo had her own comic series, so it’s likely that her Marvel Studios’ series would be fairly original, giving Freeland free reign to create both a unique backstory for the character and the new, original characters that will surround her. We’ll have to wait to see how her character’s arc on Hawkeye concludes, but Cox’s Echo is likely being set up to play a big part in the future of the MCU.