Does New Hawkeye Casting Confirm Clint Barton Hearing Loss Storyline on Disney+?

A surprising casting notice went out this week for an upcoming Disney+ series, and based on our own educated guesses we think it might mean exciting things for the Marvel Cinematic Universe and one of its heroes. As pointed out by Murphy's Multiverse, Sarah Finn Casting (the company behind casting shows like The Mandalorian and films like Avengers: Endgame and Black Panther) announced they were look for "an actress to play a leading role in an upcoming Disney+ television series." There's one catch though, the character's dialogue in her audition will need to be signed in ASL (American Sign Language), because the character herself is deaf.

Though unconfirmed, it's theorized that this character is none other than the deaf hero Echo aka May Lopez. The official character description lines up with this, reading: "Malia - Female, 20s, Deaf, Native American, First Nations, Indigenous and/or Latinx. Independent, athletic & bright. Lead. Seeing ages 18+ to play a character in her 20s." For those unaware, Echo is in peak physical condition and has an ability known as "Photographic Reflexes," the same power that the villain Taskmaster possesses, and has long been a street-level hero in the Marvel U.

So what does this character's inclusion mean for the MCU? The first is which series she will seemingly appear in. The casting notice says the series is planning to film this fall in the USA, making it seem incredibly likely that this is for the Hawkeye TV series. As some fans might know, Hawkeye himself has gone deaf more than once in the pages of Marvel Comics. Marvel Studios has never addressed this on the big screen with Jeremy Renner's character, but it seems like creating such a development for him in the series will offer a perfect opportunity to bring Echo into the MCU.

Adding Echo to the fold will offer a great moment for the circumstances of Hawkeye potentially going deaf in a few ways. Born deaf, Echo would easily be able to offer a hand to the hero in navigating the world as a person that has recently lost their hearing (in the comics it happens after having his ear drums burst on two different occasions, with a similar incident happening when he's a child as well). Marvel also has a perfect reason for the pair to meet even before Hawkeye potentially loses his hearing, as Echo suited up as the marked hero Ronin for a brief time in Marvel comics. As we know, Hawkeye took on the personae in Avengers: Endgame and will have seemingly retired it by the time the series starts. That inherent clash is an easy narrative reason for them to cross paths.

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There's also the nature of Echo as a character that makes this casting notice interesting, Created by David Mack and Joe Quesada in the pages of Daredevil, the rights to Echo in live-action would have seemingly been tied up in Marvel's Netflix deal. After that series was cancelled it came with a stipulation that the characters couldn't appear on the big or small screen under Marvel's direction for two years, and that time table is almost up. Despite her not appearing on screen in the Daredevil TV series, it seems like Echo could have been included in this fine print, making her appearance seem all the more likely with a Fall 2020 filming date.

So what do you think? Will we get to see a character like Echo pop up in a high-profile series from Marvel Studios? Do you think Marvel will tackle this storyline for Jeremy Renner's character? Sound off in the comments below with your thoughts.