The attendees of Hall H were treated to a brand new trailer for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law this past weekend at San Diego Comic-Con. The show will premiere August 17, 2022, and consist of nine episodes following Jennifer Walters’ (Tatiana Maslany) life as She-Hulk. The trailer shows Jennifer training with her cousin Bruce Banner (Mark Ruffalo) while also trying to manage her life as an attorney. What surprised fans was that the SDCC trailer confirmed that we would be seeing Matt Murdock aka Daredevil (Charlie Cox) appear in the show as well!
We caught up with executive producer and head writer Jessica Gao, and directors Kat Coiro and Anu Valia to ask about the challenges they faced filming the series, the restrictions and freedoms of working with Marvel Studios, and the talent of their lead, Tatiana Maslany.
Jessica Gao also serves as the creator of the series but you might be more familiar with her work from the third season of Rick and Morty, when she penned the infamous “Pickle Rick” episode. On top of Rick and Morty, she has also written for Silicon Valley, Robot Chicken, and The Mighty B! As head writer, Gao spoke about one of the biggest challenges that arose in the writers’ room, which is surely something that many MCU writers come up against: picking out characters to use from the Marvel comics canon.
“Because everything in the MCU is so interconnected, you just had to know that everything you want to do, there are borders to it, and you have to figure out what the borders are before you can really make any hard decisions. So, you know, sometimes we’d come up with like an idea or a character we wanted to use, but you have to kind of stop and ask to make sure that it wasn’t already been used, or there wasn’t already another plan. And half the time that happened, and you kind of had to scrap everything and start over.”
While she didn’t go into specifics about which characters were scrapped, she did divulge what it meant for the writing team to get the green light to put Daredevil into the series. As she explained, many of the writers in the room were huge Daredevil comics fans and assumed that the man without fear was forbidden territory.
“I don’t think we ever, in a million years, thought that we would be allowed to use them, because we didn’t know what the status was of the character. And then, I can’t remember how, we got wind that he was coming back and that it was Charlie Cox, and we were like, ‘Wait, does that I mean we can use him? Are we allowed?’ And when they told us yeah, I mean, we couldn’t believe it, we thought we were being pranked. We just kept writing him in, and we kept rolling with the story just thinking like, ‘Okay, any moment now they’re going to tell us we can’t use them. They made a mistake. They actually don’t have the rights.’ But it just kept [becoming] more and more real. And it was so hard to keep that secret!”
Kat Coiro is leading the directing team for She-Hulk. She directed the most recent rom-com Marry Me, but before that she worked on shows like Modern Family, Shameless, and It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Coiro talked about her own excitement to enter into the MCU and how interactive the work is. “I feel like it evolves and it listens to the fans,” she said. “It really takes its cues from what the audience wants, which is very different from most projects, and something I was really excited to be a part of.”
Both Coiro and fellow director Anu Valia praised lead Tatiana Maslany for her performance. Coiro remarked that the only real challenge they had was figuring out who would play Jennifer Walters, adding, “Honestly, once we had Tatiana it kind of felt like smooth sailing.” Valia, who has directed episodes of Never Have I Ever, Mixed-ish, and A.P. Bio, gave Maslany glowing praise for her work.
“Tatiana, to me, is one of the best actors of our generation. She is incredible. She can truly do anything. Literally, there were times at the monitor that the scene wasn’t even sad, and I would be crying. She’s so good. There was one time we were filming a scene, and it was truly like a happy scene, and I was crying and I was so embarrassed. She gives herself so completely and her ability to be present, I’ve never seen anything like it. Directing her was an honor of my life.”
Valia also went on to talk about some of the challenges she faced when it came to directing a show with a CGI lead character. “There’s a lot to learn,” she said. “I didn’t come from a background of working with CGI, but I have to say that the VFX team, the [post-production] team was so incredible, and I think they really encourage bringing filmmakers in and helping you learn that language.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will premiere on August 17, 2022, exclusively on Disney+.