Marvel Entertainment is in a bit of pickle right now. After a decade-plus of ruling the multiplex (and, in recent years, the streaming-verse, too), they’re not as bulletproof as they once were. Some movies underperform. Some shows go underwatched. A recent, brutal Variety piece highlighted all the ways in which they’re a mess, with low (for them) box office projections for The Marvels, some mishegoss over their Blade reboot, even desperate talks about getting the old Avengers gang back together. They’re also thinking of finally addressing one of the bigger complaints about the MCU.

Per Deadline, during a preview of Echo, their Hawkeye spinoff featuring Maya Lopez’s Native American deaf assassin, a Marvel exec quietly slipped in some big news. The show, he said, would be part of a new wing called Marvel Spotlight. These would be movies and shows that, while they may have a connection to the MCU, don’t require everyone has to watch — or at least read up on — all the stuff that’s happened in all the other movies and shows.

“Just like comics fans didn’t need to read Avengers or Fantastic Four to enjoy a Ghost Rider Spotlight comic,” Head of Streaming Brad Winderbaum told the crowd, “our audience doesn’t need to have seen other Marvel series to understand what’s happening in Maya’s story.”

It will also allow Marvel to bring what Winderbaum described as “more grounded, character-driven stories to the screen,” saying that Echo would focus on “street-level stakes over larger MCU continuity.” Indeed Echo scored a Marvel show first: a “TV-MA” rating.

Of course, Echo is still connected to the greater MCU. As mentioned, it’s a spinoff, following a character introduced in Hawkeye. However, it sounds like one doesn’t need to have seen any other MCU title — including, maybe, Hawkeye — to make sense of Echo.

Till now, each MCU movie and show were interconnected. To fully grok, say, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, one had to see (or, again, read up on): Agent Carter, What If…?, WandaVision, Spider-Man: No Way Home, to say nothing of the first Doctor Strange and the previous two Avengers outings. That’s a lot of watching!

Perhaps Marvel execs finally realized that not everyone has time or energy or the inkling to watch hours upon hours of Marvel stuff just to understand one of them. And maybe this will be one way to combat that famous superhero fatigue that seems to be settling in.

You can watch the Echo trailer above. The show starts dropping on Disney+ and Hulu on January 10.

(Via Deadline)

 Starting with ’Echo,’ their upcoming ’Hawkeye’ spinoff, Marvel will make shows and films that don’t require hours and hours of homework.  Read More