‘Echo’ EP Sydney Freeland Touts “Representation Was Extremely Important” To Series, Reveals Character’s Background And Powers Completely Changed
Echo director and executive producer Sydney Freeland made it abundantly clear how Marvel Studios plans to market the upcoming Disney+ series by declaring that “representation was extremely important to myself and everyone on the crew.”
Freeland made those comments as part of a press event for the series where they rolled out the first trailer.
Not only did she claim that representation was paramount to the show, but according to Variety’s Laura Clark the character was reimagined.
Clark wrote, “Freeland said she and the creative team — including head writer Marion Dayre — have re-imagined the character’s Indigeneity, making her a member of the Choctaw tribe from Oklahoma.”
Clark added, “In the comics, Maya is from the Blackfeet tribe, but Freeland said that the accompanying visuals amounted to a ‘hodgepodge’ of imagery that made for a ‘muddied’ and ultimately inauthentic backstory for the character.
Not only is the character’s background getting changed, but so is her power set.
Freeland explained, “Her power in the comic books is that she can copy anything, any movement, any whatever. It’s kind of lame.”
“I will say, that is not her power. I’ll just kind of leave it at that,” she added.
While Freeland made it clear the show seemingly has nothing to do with the original comics, she did try and sell the show as gritty explaining that series will follow Echo after a “seismic event” takes place within her family.
“Maya is in a very vulnerable, emotional place after this,” the director asserted. “She’s got all this bottled-up emotion and rage and feeling inside of her, and she doesn’t know what to do with it. And there’s going to be somebody there to give her a little nudge.”
In fact, she describes the show as “an exploration of trauma — how we deal with it, how we cope with it, how it affects us, how we affect it, how it affects those around us.”
To that point, she also noted, “It’s not the fate of the universe at stake. This is the fate of family.”
Freeland also declared, “We wanted very, very adamantly to show that these are people on our show — they bleed, they die, they get killed and there are real consequences.”
The official synopsis for the series states, “Marvel Studios presents Echo, spotlighting Maya Lopez (Alaqua Cox) as she is pursued by Wilson Fisk’s (Vincent D’Onofrio) criminal empire. When the journey brings her home, she must confront her own family and legacy.”
Along with Cox and D’Onofrio the series also stars Chaske Spencer, Graham Greene, Tantoo Cardinal, Devery Jacobs, Zahn McClarnon, and Cody Lightning. It arrives on Disney+ and Hulu on January 10th.
What do you make of Freeland’s comments? What are your expectations for Echo?