‘She-Hulk’ Director Kat Coiro on Using the Real Disney Lot, Shooting the Finale First & More
[Warning: The below contains MAJOR spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Season 1.]
The She-Hulk: Attorney at Law season finale had a little bit of everything for fans. A massive, character-packed battle scene, a continued bit of romance for lawyers Jennifer Walters/She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) and Matt Murdock/Daredevil (Charlie Cox), an almost-Hulk-powered super villain, an exciting new character with big implications (Skaar!), and lots of resolution for our green leading lady. But what made the epic episode stand out is also what separates She-Hulk from the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe: its wild and unabashed fourth-wall breaking.
The finale, which started out with a throwback Incredible Hulk-inspired retro introduction, dove right into the chaos of its many, many storylines and characters before Jen decides it’s just too much. She breaks into the Disney+ home screen and swings herself into Marvel’s Assembled (the streamer’s behind-the-scenes anthology series). First, she takes her complaints to the writers’ room to ask “what kind of stupid finale is this?” before charging directly to the big boss “Kevin” to take back the ending of her story.
“That’s what Hulks do,” Jen explains. “We smash things. Bruce smashes buildings. I smash fourth walls and bad endings — and sometimes Matt Murdock.”
Director Kat Coiro answers our burning questions about the crazy episode.
What was it like pitching this finale episode’s concept? Did President of Marvel Studios Kevin Feige enjoy K.E.V.I.N.?
Kat Coiro: You know, the series was always moving towards this concept, so it was really baked into the foundation of the show and it’s always where we were headed. I was more nervous about throwing Marvel under the bus and poking fun at Kevin than Kevin was. He was so game and down to be self-deprecating. When we asked him to be the voice he did say, “Absolutely not. There needs to be a distinction between Kevin Feige and K.E.V.I.N.” but that being said, it was amazing how big a part he played in the creation of that AI robot.
How much of the writers’ room and Marvel offices were real?
Oh, the Disney lot was all real. We went to the Disney lot for all the shots of her walking across. The receptionist that lets her in and makes her sign the NDA is the real receptionist. We had him audition along with a bunch of actors, and he killed it. The NDA is real. The Iron Man suit in the background. That was part of what we wanted — to really tap into the realism for anyone who’s ever visited there to go, “Oh my God, they’re really there!”
We had a few of the real writers in the room, not with lines, but there. And then all of the writers, the actors, were fashioned after writers in the room. And the notecards are real episode breakdowns.
I’m sure fans will do some zooming in there.
They might find some surprises.
Now, Matt Murdock’s return. Did you know that you always wanted him to come back, or was that decided after seeing Cox and Maslany’s chemistry?
No, in fact, we filmed the finale first, which was very intense because I had every single actor in that lodge looking at me like, “What on earth are we doing?” And I had to say, “it doesn’t make sense, but that’s part of the genius of it. It will make sense when you watch it.” And they had to trust me. So, yeah, that was always a part of it.
But everyone loves Daredevil and the writers are so keyed into knowing what audiences want and need, even in the way that we play with the trolls. Now, if someone sends a jerky message online, they’re playing right into our hands.
I love that. There was one character who also broke out earlier this season, Madisynn (Patty Guggenheim). Did you expect her to blow up the way that she did?
I remember when I first brought her up, nobody knew her, and they were like, “Oh, I don’t know,” and I was like, “Guys, trust me, let her audition and you will see.” And she came in, auditioned on Zoom and people were crying. Literally, crying. I was just waiting for the world to meet her because I think she’s a huge star and hopefully this launches her to amazing places. I wanted her to be in the finale, but we filmed it first, so.
But what Patty brings is such specificity and this ability to play someone who seems like they’re not very smart with extreme intelligence. And that’s why she’s a comedic genius.
I also want to talk about the Incredible Hulk-inspired intro, which was so much fun, especially the practical effects-version of She-Hulk!
Yes! Oh that’s such a fun story. So the guy, the bodybuilder, who plays our real, practical Lou Ferrigno-style She-Hulk in that sequence, he said to me, he said, “You know, when I was a little boy, I used to dream about growing up and being the Hulk. You’ve got to be a little more specific in your dreams, because I never thought it would be She-Hulk.”
That sequence was just so fun. We drew from the original, and I have watched that sequence probably two million times, ingested every part of it, and it was about really doing justice to that sequence and really leaning into the cheesy elements of that era and also adding our own little flourishes like the trolling on the old-fashioned computer.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, Season 1, Streaming Now, Disney+