The ‘She-Hulk’ team explains the fourth wall-shattering finale and responds to Marvel’s toxic trolls
Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) breaks the fourth wall many times in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. Not only does she speak to the camera, but she also says she’s starring in a Marvel Studios superhero TV show.
In the season finale, which is called “Whose Show Is It?”, Jennifer quits the show and hops over the Disney+ portal to talk to the writers about why the finale was so confusing and full of unnecessary, nonsensical plot lines like the one about a group of villains fans who make fun of Jennifer online for being a female superhero which does not deserve its powers.
Jennifer eventually meets the person responsible. It’s not Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, but a sentient robot named KEVIN who has “the world’s most advanced entertainment algorithm.”
Maslany, Jessica Gao, the show’s creator and head writer, and Kat Coiro, the show’s director and executive producer, told Variety that Feige was in on the joke from the beginning and even helped shape his AI avatar.
They also talked about how happy it made them to see real-life online trolls criticize the show “She-Hulk” in the same way that online trolls on the show criticize the character “She-Hulk.”
Maslany talks about Jennifer’s relationship with fellow lawyer Matt Murdock, aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox). Gao and Koiro talked about the introduction of Skaar (Will Deusner), the surprise son of Jennifer’s cousin Bruce Banner, aka the Hulk (Mark Ruffalo).
Along with breaking the fourth wall, the finale deals with some of the same shenanigans that Marvel fans do. Here’s the She-Hulk team talking about their experiences on the show:
How did it feel to see how the show would end?
Tatiana Maslany: Jessica Gao is a genius. When she writes about a female superhero, she is aware of the culture we live in and her place in it. She already knows what that answer will be.
As a cast, it was delightful to send each other these troll responses, like, “Oh my god, give them a week and then they’ll literally see this message pop up verbatim in the show and become the villains of the show.” It was very exciting.
— Cal (@calrart) October 14, 2022
Did you expect trolls when you joined the show?
It was so true when I read the script. So many people don’t want to see a woman in this superhero space. That will always be there. I was kind of ready for it. I think it’s important because of that. Some people feel they have a right to space and even exist because She-Hulk is like your shit and I love that.
What do you hope happens between Jen and Matt Murdoch?
I don’t know what Jen’s life is like right now, except that it seems to be getting better. They really have a real connection with each other. I’m interested to see how this develops, if it just means getting together every once in a while to have fun, or if it grows into something more. But I don’t think either of them thinks that. They are just starting something.
Is there an Avenger that Jen would get along with best?
It would be so much fun to have a baby Groot. We can’t photograph it unless we put it on our head or something. Since Jen is a bit odd and an outsider, it would be interesting to see how she gets along with the other characters.
I think any combination would be fun. The fourth wall will be broken by her and Deadpool. They will argue whose camera is the most important.
Did Marvel offer any tips for dealing with internet trolls?
Jessica Gao: This conversation between Jen and KEVIN is very similar to how I talk to Kevin in real life, and a lot of it comes from conversations I’ve had with him. In the scripts, this scene was much longer. If I had been allowed, I would have written about my avatar arguing with Kevin for 10 minutes. That’s probably the best way it could have gone. There were a handful of shots where Kevin said, “Okay, this is a little mean.”
How did it feel to know exactly what the trolls were going to say?
Three years ago, our writers’ room opened its doors. We were able to guess how people would react and what many of the troll comments would be, which really shows how tired and unoriginal these trolls are. This made me laugh a lot because the little troll in me likes to troll other trolls.
How did you decide to introduce Skaar?
From the beginning, we talked a lot about whether there would be a cameo at the end or, in typical Marvel style, we would hint at a new character at the end. A big cameo will depend on who is free and willing to do it, and you can’t count on that when you’re writing the script.
We talked a lot about how to tease a character. It was Kevin who decided it was Skaar after all. His look is all Kevin Feige.
The episode, which took place at the superhero asylum run by Emil Blonsky aka The Abomination (Tim Roth), introduced several lesser-known Marvel characters, such as the vampire Saracen. Did he want to play a prank on Blade? Have you wanted to use other obscure comic book characters?
We were going in the wrong direction from our goal of making jokes about blood. First we had looked at a strange, scary creature. Originally, we wanted to use Varnae, a vampire that’s more like a bat, so we could have a character that wasn’t fully human and make a lot of jokes about being more animal and wanting to drink blood. That’s how we got the name Saracen.
There were a lot of comic book characters that we chose because we thought they were so weird or funny that it would be fun to include them in the story. Many of them we couldn’t do because they were already planned or because we didn’t have the rights to them.
We also tried to play with them but couldn’t come up with a story. At one point we came up with a story about Stulman just because he’s such a stupid character, but we couldn’t come up with a good story to use him in.
What does Kevin Feige think of the ending?
Kat Coiro: Kevin was a big part of that ending and who KEVIN is. In a funny way, I was more scared of them. I thought, ‘Are we going too far? Are we throwing Marvel and the fans under the bus by throwing Marvel movies?” They have a self-deprecating sense of humor and aren’t afraid to make fun of themselves. They have already invented every criticism you can throw at them.
— francisco | shehulk era (@Francis32748807) October 13, 2022
Were you looking for Marvel reviews or just checking Twitter?
Early on in the series, I noticed that I was getting a lot of rude comments. Over time this stopped happening. I think it’s because they already know that when they go after us, they’re just making things easier for us.
We guessed right, which is great. It’s so satisfying. I always take even negative feedback as a sign of interest. People pay attention if they’re that angry. I see the good in everything. How many of the episodes at the end, like Daredevil, Skaar, Hulk, and Abomination, were just jokes or meant to set up future plots?
Kevin has been very clear about what he wants to happen with Skaar, so I’m sure he has a plan for the future, but I don’t know what it is. We all knew Daredevil had to come back because people love him and he works so well with the other characters. I only wish Patti Guggenheim had returned as Madisyn in the last episode. I’m very sorry about that.
How will the end of the story affect the rest of the MCU?
I like when KEVIN says the problem is fixed because I don’t want every character in the MCU to be able to talk to him about their plots. So I hope it’s an isolated incident. Now that we know it’s there, I don’t think we should go back to it.
This is what everyone on the She-Hulk team thought or felt about what was going on in the show at the time. Only follow us on Lee Daily for more news like this.