SIGN UP for our newsletter ✉️ :

Get the latest stories delivered straight to you

Marvel unveils new Spotlight banner for standalone MCU projects like “Echo”

Marvel unveils new Spotlight banner for standalone MCU projects like “Echo”

The upcoming miniseries stars Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez, who first entered the MCU in 2021's "Hawkeye."

Interested in the new trailer for Marvel's Echo, but haven't been keeping up with the latest output from the Marvel Cinematic Universe? Marvel doesn't want you to worry. Over the weekend, the studio screened the first two episodes of the upcoming miniseries for the Choctaw Nation, and also unveiled a new banner for projects like this one: Marvel Spotlight.

That name should have some resonance for comic readers. Marvel Spotlight was an anthology series that began in 1971 and explored less traditional superhero characters; it's where Werewolf by Night and Ghost Rider first made their debuts, among others. Now that title will serve to highlight MCU projects like Echo that don't require an extensive knowledge of the ongoing continuity.

"Marvel Spotlight gives us a platform to bring more grounded, character-driven stories to the screen, and in the case of Echo, focusing on street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity," Brad Winderbaum, Marvel's head of streaming, said in a statement. "Just like comics fans didn't need to read Avengers or Fantastic Four to enjoy a Ghost Rider Spotlight comic, our audience doesn't need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what's happening in Maya's story."

Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez on 'Echo'
Chuck Zlotnick/Marvel Studios Alaqua Cox as Maya Lopez on 'Echo'

Echo does have roots in past Marvel projects. The show stars Alaqua Cox as the deaf warrior Maya Lopez, who first appeared in the 2021 Hawkeye series. Echo also features the return of Wilson Fisk, a.k.a. Kingpin (Vincent D'Onofrio). Though he also appeared in Hawkeye, Fisk hails from the 2015-2018 Daredevil series. Originally made for Netflix, that Daredevil has since overlapped with the official MCU (with Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock popping up in Spider-Man: No Way Home and She-Hulk) but exists at an arm's length from the cosmic adventures of the Avengers or the Guardians of the Galaxy.

The creators of Echo were therefore more interested in connecting their story with the protagonist's Choctaw heritage than increasingly convoluted MCU continuity.

"It's so exciting to be able to premiere Echo and it is extremely meaningful to myself to have this screening in Chocktaw Nation," lead director Sydney Freeland said at a Q&A after the screening, according to Marvel. "One of the things we're most excited about is being able to portray the Chocktaw culture hopefully in an authentic and exciting way."

In addition to Cox and D'Onofrio, Echo stars Tantoo Cardinal (Killers of the Flower Moon), Chaske Spencer, Graham Greene, Devery Jacobs, Zahn McClarnon, and Cody Lightning.

All five episodes of Echo premiere Jan. 10 on Disney+ and Hulu.

Marvel Studios The new MCU series 'Echo'
Marvel Studios The new MCU series 'Echo'

Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite stars, and more.

Related content:

Read the original article on Entertainment Weekly.