Disney+’s Marvel Studios Assembled has been looking at the making of various Marvel projects since WandaVision hit the streamer in 2020. While there is a lot of overlap with these series and movies, each one has a little something different to explore.
One could make the case that Marvel’s Echo, a series that was so different in so many ways, could have easily made for the most unique Assembled Marvel has delivered to date. Instead, while the new behind-the-scenes documentary has a lot of interesting information to share, it didn’t do a whole lot to separate itself from its predecessors.
First off, this latest Assembled spends a good amount of time shining the light on its two stars: Alaqua Cox and Vincent D’Onofrio. And rightfully so. Both of these actors were spectacular in the series and they deserve all the attention they can get. Assembled shares a great deal of Cox’s experience: from much of the cast and crew around her learning ASL so that they could communicate, to pushing to do her own stunts as much as possible. And we get to see a bit of the relationship between her and D’Onofrio, a much more experienced actor whom she says helped along the way.
Another interesting aspect this doc spends a bit of time on is the sound design. With Maya Lopez being a deaf character, this series had the interesting opportunity to share a bit of her perspective and it did so very well. We get to hear a bit about what it was like to create the show in that way, however it feels like one of many topics on which this Assembled could have spent a bit more time.
And speaking of more time, as is the case with the show itself, this doc utilizes subtitles quite a bit when a person is using ASL to communicate. And while it is fascinating to watch ASL being used on the set of a show in which it is so important, the subtitles feel a bit messy or rushed at times. In some instances they come and go very quickly, while in others the color of the font will almost exactly match the background. You’re going to want to keep your remote handy and pause a few times in order to really take in all of the information.
One of the consistent highlights of Assembled is the costume design for these various superhero films and series. There isn’t a whole lot on which to focus for this series, aside from Echo’s own superhero costume, which does get a moment in the spotlight. Instead, it is interesting to hear about the authentic regalias of the indigenous people who take part in the show’s Powwow.
Perhaps the biggest takeaway from this new Assembled though is actually what it’s missing. Echo was unique in several ways. It was the first Marvel Spotlight project, it was the first MCU project to receive a TV-MA rating and it was the first to be shared between both Disney+ and Hulu upon its release. Those were a series of very interesting decisions and yet none of them are touched on in this new documentary. At the very least, this felt like a great time for Marvel to further explain its new Spotlight banner and what it means for projects like Echo, but for one reason or another, it simply does not come up.
Overall, Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Echo is worth a watch if you really enjoyed the series, as is always the case with these documentaries. It does little to break the mold of this series of docs, despite having plenty of opportunity to do so, focusing on such a unique project. And yet, Assembled is always very well made and thorough, making it both entertaining and informative for Marvel fans.
Marvel Studios Assembled: The Making of Echo is now streaming on Disney+.