Why The Hawkeye Directors Won't Return For Echo Spin-Off

Outside of steadfast Marvel comic book readers, few people knew who Maya Lopez, aka Echo, was prior to Alaqua Cox playing the character on "Hawkeye." A compelling series of flashbacks outlining her backstory and some nifty action scenes later, Echo has emerged as an engaging new addition to the MCU — to say nothing of the fact that she's a deaf Native American woman with a prosthetic limb appearing in a franchise that's focused primarily on white, able-bodied heroes and villains for much of its run (more recent improvements aside).

Marvel Studios has already confirmed its plans to continue Maya's story in the upcoming series "Echo," with Marion Dayre ("Better Call Saul") serving as head writer. However, "Hawkeye" directing duo Bert & Bertie (who helmed three of the show's six episodes) don't expect to return for the spinoff, with Bertie telling THR:

"We love the character of Echo, but we're not going to say anything about what's up and coming. But the Native American story of that, in our opinion, should really be told by someone in that community. That would be a wonderful thing if that could happen."

The Importance of Authenticity

Bertie's comments speak to the growing recognition among white storytellers that it's not enough to cast people from marginalized communities in their work; they also need to realize when a story isn't theirs to tell, be it based on real-world events or fictional ones like those in "Echo." 2021 has seen improvements in this area when it comes to modern-day stories about Native Americans thanks to the shows "Rutherford Falls" and "Reservation Dogs," which prominently feature Native American creatives on both sides of the camera. But at the same time, these series are just the first step, and it only makes sense to continue that progress with a show that puts the spotlight firmly on Maya.

Speaking of the future: the last two episodes of "Hawkeye" should offer some big clues about what comes next for Maya, once she and the Tracksuit Mafia have settled their business with Clint Barton (Jeremy Renner) and Kate Bishop (Hailee Steinfeld). There's also the lingering mystery of who, exactly, Maya's enigmatic uncle is, which could end up having a major impact on the direction and genre of "Echo." (Not least of all if he is who so many fans think he is.)

"Hawkeye" debuts new episodes on Wednesdays on Disney+. "Echo" has yet to receive a release date on the streaming service.