It's official — the Man Without Fear is about to meet the green woman with rage on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
The new trailer for Disney+'s upcoming Marvel series debuted at Comic-Con last month and teased the potential arrival of Daredevil. Director Kat Coiro is relieved that she can finally confirm Charlie Cox's appearance in the new legal comedy. "Can I tell you how excited I was when the audience was able to see that and I realized that I did not have to keep that secret anymore?" she tells EW with a laugh. "Yes, Daredevil is in the show. I mean, how can you have a legal comedy and not have Daredevil come into it?"
While she isn't able to reveal details on many episodes Matt Murdock will be in or how he meets Jennifer Walters a.k.a. She-Hulk (played by Tatiana Maslany), she was able to spill a little about what the dynamic will be like between the two lawyers who moonlight as superheroes. "They match each other's wits, is what I can say," Coiro says. "I am definitely excited for Daredevil to make his appearance, because I think he's going to be a crowd favorite. But I can't tell you anything else about that. The Marvel police is a real thing and I don't want to get arrested by them."
Below, Coiro dives deep on what else fans can expect from She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
Marvel Studios; Inset: Brian Bowen Smith
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: How far into the development of the series did you join as director and executive producer?
KAT COIRO: They had finished some of the scripts [by the time I joined], but I really got to be there and build it from the ground up and build the look and the tone and casting. I'm so excited to have been a part of that very collaborative process. I was always a fan of the character from the comics when I was a little kid, so all the material came from such a place of genuine personal connection and excitement.
I love that for a show centered on all these women characters, there's a team of all women behind the camera as well. That shouldn't feel revolutionary but it definitely still does. How did that influence the show onscreen?
I will be so excited on the day when that is not a big deal. We're not there yet, but I hope that this show is part of that movement, where it's just accepted that some shows are predominantly led by women, because that's how life is. It was definitely something we talked about, about inclusivity and making sure that the story was told through the female lens. Comic books have traditionally, in the art, been through the male gaze, and so there was a lot of talk about what is the female gaze and how do we create this from our point of view?
One thing I always come back to was one of the wish fulfillment elements of getting to see her walking down a dark alley, and someone gives her a hard time, and she's able to kick their butts. It was something that every single woman could relate to, any woman, of any age. How exciting would it be to walk home in the dark and not worry? She-Hulk is able to walk home, even while wearing headphones, and not worry, because she has the power to not feel vulnerable physically. And I think that's a pretty unique thing that only a group of women could have brought to this, among other much more nuanced things as well.
We talked a lot about women feeling the need to be polite. If some guy comes up to you in a bar, it's obvious what he wants but you don't want to offend him because you are afraid of being rude. Jennifer Walters has this new part of herself that doesn't have to temper that and doesn't have to put up with things she doesn't want to put up with. Jennifer Walters doesn't have to put up with that crap.
Speaking of that, something that's always been fascinating about the Hulk is the exploration of rage, but obviously that takes on a much different meaning when centered around a woman rather than a man. How does the series tackle and evolve that aspect of Hulk mythology now that we're seeing Jennifer's journey?
I think we can both agree that female rage is much less accepted than male rage. The level of anger that is accepted by society is different between men and women. We have, historically, all of these comic book characters that get to rage at level 10, but how is She-Hulk perceived when she's at rage level five? Is she perceived the same way the men are when they're at level 10? We really went for it in that regard.
What is Jennifer's dynamic like with her cousin Bruce as he helps her learn how to control her She-Hulk powers?
Bruce and Jennifer's dynamic is is honestly one of my favorite parts of the series because he comes into it having gone through this very personal journey, and he has a predisposed idea that her experience is going to be exactly the same as his and that he has a lot to teach her. And very quickly, it becomes clear that her experience is going to be very different, both physically, literally, and mentally because of how they have operated differently in the world as men and women. I love watching Bruce get completely thrown off his game of thinking that he's the teacher and realizing that very quickly, she has things to teach him.
And it was fun watching Mark [Ruffalo] and Tatiana, because he's been playing his Hulk for so many years and she was very new to the Hulk, and yet, as soon as they started working together, Mark was like, "Wow, she's amazing and she's bringing all these new levels to the Hulk." The actors' experience really mirrored the characters' experience in a really fun way.
Marvel Studios Tatiana Maslany on 'She-Hulk Attorney at Law'
All the trailers that have been released so far focus a lot on Jennifer's dating life, which isn't something we've ever seen before in a Marvel project. What are we going to see from that aspect of the show?
In the building of She-Hulk herself, in the concept of her body and her size, part of the discussion was about we want her to be this large, six-foot-seven green woman, but we also want her to fit into regular society and be able to go on a date in a restaurant with a guy. She's an interesting superhero where she is large and she is green, but there are women who are six-foot-seven. We had one on set who was our reference and body double. She's still within the realm of reality, so her dating life is definitely complicated by being a superhero, but it's also very grounded in reality. That was always what we wanted: what does it mean to be a six-foot-seven green woman in your 30's, dating in Los Angeles?
It's very relatable, whether you're six-foot-seven or green or just a woman, and that's what we kept coming back to. How do we tell a story that any woman who's ever gone on a date will relate to in some way or another? And that's just one facet of how this show is different from the other Marvel shows, we get to see behind the scenes of the life of a superhero. How does she dress? How does she go on a date? What's her apartment like? We really delve into the everyday life of a superhero.
Regarding her size, recently there were rumors that Marvel requested She-Hulk's muscles be made smaller. Is that true?
A lot of what I was just talking about was a big part of the process of building She-Hulk's look. The Hulk is not human proportions. He's not human scale. He is a monster in that way. And it was really important for us that she still operated on a human scale. It was never about, "Make her smaller," it was about, "How can she fit into the world and work in an office and go to a restaurant and walk down the street and still draw attention but still be within the realm of being a human?"
We honestly talked about strength more than aesthetics. We studied musculature and we studied women athletes who were incredibly strong. We really leaned towards Olympians rather than bodybuilders. That's where a lot of our body references came from, very strong Olympic athletes. So she doesn't have a bodybuilder's physique, but she absolutely has a very strong physique that can justify the actions that she does in the show. I think people expected a bodybuilder and for her to have these big, massive muscles but she looks more like Olympians.
The trailer released at Comic-Con has a moment where Jennifer breaks the fourth wall and talks to the camera — is that going to be something we see throughout the first season as a comedic tool?
A huge part of the She-Hulk comics is her breaking the fourth wall and taking control of her narrative and being in charge of her own story. She was doing it way before Fleabag or Deadpool. She was doing it back in 1980. All I can say is it's a huge part of the comics and we honor the comics.
Does the season finale set up a potential second season? Will we see Jennifer Walters return in the future?
Only Kevin Feige can answer that question. There is definitely the possibility of having a second season. There's also the possibility of the character joining the other characters in the movies. I have no idea. Watching Bruce and Jen, She-Hulk and He-Hulk interact, you're definitely going to want to see more of their dynamic together. It's a really playful big-brother-little-sister dynamic that has a lot of depth to it, and people are definitely going to want to see more of that in the future.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premieres Aug. 18 on Disney+.
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