'Hawkeye' Spin-Off Series Starring Deaf Superhero Echo Is In Early Development At Disney+

Hawkeye may not even be in the can yet, but Marvel may already have a spin-off series in their sights. A Hawkeye spin-off series centered on Echo, a deaf Native American superhero with the power to copy another person's movements or fighting style, is reportedly in early development at Disney+.Variety reports that Disney+ is in the early stages of development for a Hawkeye spin-off series about Echo, who will be played in the upcoming Marvel series by Native American actress Alaqua Cox. Etan and Emily Cohen have been set to write and executive produce this Echo-centric series, with a writers' room being assembled. Marvel Studios will produce.

In Marvel Comics, Echo — real name Maya Lopez — is a frequent supporting character of Daredevil who possesses "photographic reflexes," or the uncanny ability to perfectly copy other people's movements. She's also crossed paths with Moon Knight and the Avengers, but her connection with Hawkeye lies in a shared pseudonym: she was the first person to hold the title of Ronin before passing it on to Clint Barton, AKA Hawkeye. We see Jeremy Renner's Clint Barton assume the name of Ronin at the beginning of Avengers: Endgame, after having lost his family in the Blip and gone rogue from the Avengers in a bloody mission of revenge.

Cox is set to make her on-screen debut in Hawkeye. Also set to appear in the series are Vera Farmiga, Florence Pugh (reprising her role from Black Widow), Fra Fee, Tony Dalton, Zahn McClarnon, and of course, Hailee Steinfeld as Kate Bishop, Hawkeye's protege. But even if it's her first role, Cox must have impressed Disney+ and Marvel for them to begin development on an Echo series before Hawkeye has even finished production.

The series, which picks up after the events of Avengers: Endgame, is written and executive produced by Jonathan Igla and loosely inspired by Matt Fraction and David Aja's terrific Hawkeye comic series. But based on how the cast is filling out and how this series will supposedly introduce the origins of characters like Echo — McClarnon plays William Lopez, Echo's father, for example — it seems unlikely that the Marvel show will be the sweet and irreverent dramedy that Fraction's comics were. It appears that the series will dive into Clint's dark days as Ronin and trace his connections to Cox's Echo and others. And perhaps, considering Clint Barton's brief stint as a major deaf Marvel character, explore disability in the Marvel world with both Hawkeye and Echo.

But the least surprising thing about Hawkye is that, like many a Disney+ show, it's already acting as a launch pad for other world-expanding properties.

Representatives for Marvel Studios and the Cohens did not comment on Variety's report.