She-Hulk wrapped up its first season this week and, in the process, garnered a lot of attention for, first, recreating the opening credits of the ’70s The Incredible Hulk series … and then having a scene in which Tatiana Maslany’s Jennifer Walters (aka She-Hulk) breaking the fourth wall to complain to the writers about how terrible the finale was going. Then, ultimately, confronting “Kevin,” an AI that creates all Marvel content. We spoke to director Kat Coiro, who directed the finale (and the majority of the season’s episodes) about all of this, and of course Jennifer’s newfound love affair with Daredevil.
Anecdotally, people who I thought would be super into the show haven’t watched it and people who I thought would not like it just love it. It’s very weird…
I got a voice message the other day from a nine-year-old who watched Episode 8 and was, “Why did you leave me on a cliffhanger? What is going to happen next?” And to me that really spoke to the diversity of the audience of this show and exactly what you’re saying. My parents have never watched a Marvel movie in their life and they love this show. And so I really do think, we said at the beginning, we were like, the people who aren’t already Marvel fans, we hope to draw them in with this series and I think that it’s happening.
So you got a lot of attention yesterday with that finale. Recreating the classic The Incredible Hulk opening was really great.
It was pretty exhaustive re-watching of that original introduction and recreating it meticulously while also finding these little flourishes and flares that tied into our story. One of my favorite stories from that sequence is the guy who is the bodybuilder who’s playing our She-Hulk, who is painted green, who tips the table over. He said, “When I was a little boy, I always used to dream about being the Hulk.”
Yeah, Lou Ferrigno…
“But that’s not exactly how my dream was, but I manifested it somehow.” It was really fun and it was fun to be able to get into the cheesier elements of that era. It was great.
The Daredevil storyline is terrific. How did that come about? Do you have to get permission to use Daredevil?
That was always part of the show….
I mean, it makes sense. He, too, is a lawyer.
Exactly. I mean you can’t have a lawyer show and not have Matt Murdock show up. I think one thing that was so amazing was their chemistry. And when you have a romantic episode like that, it all kind of hinges on their chemistry in the moment they were together. I mean Tatiana has good chemistry with everyone. Let’s be honest.
She’s so good by the way. Like really. I can’t imagine anyone else pulling this off.
Me neither. I mean they’re so fun together. I feel like they’ve got to have a future moving forward.
So I feel like you took every complaint about Marvel and condensed it into this scene where she confronts the AI Kevin bot. Like you just read every negative review of every Marvel movie and just listed all the complaints and just let it all out. Was anyone squeamish about that?
Ironically, I was the most squeamish about it.
Oh, I bet.
I was like, Oh, are we going too far? And it was really Kevin Feige who was like, “No, no, it’s fine.” And he was so self-deprecating and so willing to poke fun at himself. Where he drew the line was when we asked him to do the Kevin voice and he was like, “No, there has to be a difference between me and the AI robot.” But I think it’s part of what makes them an amazing company and makes them so unique is that they are willing to listen to the fans and they are not precious. And so I was the one going, Oh, have we gone too far? And Kevin was always like, “No, no, it’s fine.”
It’s interesting, when you’re watching that final episode it’s like, “This plot doesn’t make any sense. Why are they doing all this?” Then breaking the fourth wall, having She-Hulk complain to the writers this doesn’t make any sense is really clever.
I mean, one of the most challenging aspects of the whole series was that we filmed that lodge finale scene really early on in the schedule.
Because I filmed all six episodes together in a big block. And I remember being with Tatiana and Mark Ruffalo and Tim Roth and Jon Bass and Jamila and them kind of looking at me and being like, “What is going on?” And my answer was, “It doesn’t make sense. It’s not supposed to make sense. That’s the point. You got to trust me, guys.” And it was definitely a challenging moment because, once you watch the whole series, you get it but to start at the end was pretty tough.
Mark Ruffalo, I assume he’s a busy guy, so you probably have a limited time with him and have to do all his scenes. So yeah that makes sense you had to do that early on. I can’t imagine having to explain that scene to everyone.
It makes no sense in context, right? And that’s the point.
Anyway, I assume there’s more She-Hulk coming, right?
She-Hulk will reappear somewhere, but only K-E-V-I-N knows where.
No movie, though. She’s been told that.
You can contact Mike Ryan directly on Twitter.