The impact of Marvel Studio's movies and TV shows might have waned a touch in recent times, but interest could kick off again once its more refined streaming service strategy gets underway.
There's the return of Daredevil to look forward to, for example. While Deadpool 3 (the first in the trilogy that's part of the MCU) will undoubtedly be an event. And then there is Echo – a Hawkeye spin-off show that could be far more significant to the future of the Marvel Cinematic Universe than, say, Loki season 2.
That's because it has been revealed that Echo will carry a TV-MA rating, which is awarded to shows purposely made for "mature audiences".
It's a return to the days of the likes of Jessica Jones, Daredevil and The Punisher originally made for Netflix (which are now all available to stream on Disney+). It will also be the first Marvel show in some time to be available to binge in its entirety on day one, and will debut simultaneously on Disney+ and Hulu (in the US).
Echo Disney+ and Hulu release date
That will take place on 10 January 2024, with all five episodes being released on both platforms from the off. It will only be on Hulu until April, but it shows that Marvel Studios is keen to reinvigorate interest in its cinematic universe from an older audience.
It also bodes well for Daredevil: Born Again, which has had a rocky start due to the Hollywood writers' strike, but is expected to be back on the cards again soon. Indeed, Charlie Cox's character does appear in the latest Echo trailer, so Marvel is keen to keep him in the public consciousness.
As for the Echo series itself, it stars Alaqua Cox who reprises her role of Maya Lopez / Echo who was last seen potentially shooting Wilson Fisk, AKA The Kingpin, in the final episode of Hawkeye.
Echo is an interesting character in the Marvel comics and cinematic universe in that she is of Native American heritage and profoundly deaf. She is also an anti-hero and former criminal gang leader.
That lends itself well to more mature certification and, we suspect, a true departure for the franchise in the Disney+ age.