Marvel Studios' She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has officially completed its first season thanks to a finale that paid homage to the comic character in every way possible. This resulted in the most meta piece of content in MCU history, breaking the fourth wall throughout, allowing She-Hulk to revisit the hero's legacy throughout the page and screen, even as early as the opening montage.
Before literally smashing through her own reality and coming face-to-face with the AI robot KEVIN, Episode 9's opening sequence gave fans an interesting recap of what She-Hulk had gone through in her first eight episodes. This was shown in a montage that took on the presentation style used in 1978's The Incredible Hulk, the hero's original TV series that first put the Hulk in the spotlight nearly half a century ago.
The opening sequence took a wild turn by utilizing this old style of filmmaking, even making some unexpected decisions such as casting a man to play She-Hulk for that scene, which recreated the events of Episode 8. And now, in an exclusive chat with The Direct, the episode's director goes into depth about some of the more confusing aspects of that blast to the past.
She-Hulk Director on Episode 9 Opening Montage
Speaking exclusively with The Direct's Pamela Gores, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law director Kat Coiro discussed some of the confusing aspects of the opening sequence from Episode 9.
Coiro revealed that this was the team's biggest way of paying homage to the original source material, calling it a "kind of fever dream that she has" that shows that she knows she exists in her own TV series. This brought a lot of confusion in the process, having to storyboard the sequence extensively and watch everything a number of times, although she admitted that it was "ridiculously fun" to film as well:
Gores: “Starting off with the introduction, we get that 1978 The Incredible Hulk introduction which was honestly just so cool. What was the process of filming that and where did that idea come from?”
Coiro: “The idea came from the writers and you know, it’s just one of the many… We have so many homages to the original source material and in a lot of ways we skew very closely to it, even though our story is more modern. And so that was one way of really paying homage, y’know, this kind of fever dream that she has that is a recreation of the credits, because she knows she’s in a show. And so it’s kind of a complex thing in terms of filming it, I have now watched that sequence, the Bill Bixby sequence 40,000 times. And we took screengrabs and then we made storyboards. And in the process of storyboarding, we came up with little flairs that were unique to Jennifer Walters, like interacting with the trolls and the painted green version of her flipping the table. And then filming it was just ridiculously fun.
She-Hulk head writer Jessica Gao later spoke with TV Line about the opening sequence, calling it one of her favorite parts of the finale, still in disbelief that the team got to pull it off:
“I can’t believe we got to do it, and it was so wonderfully done. Our second unit director, Mo[nique] Ganderton, directed most of that, if not all of it, and it just looks so great. The editors did such a good job in making it feel exactly right.”
Tatiana Maslany added to the commentary, sharing how much she loved the sequence and celebrating the chance to pull so directly from something that had already been done:
“Oh my God, I loved it. It was such a fun sequence to play, and of course when you’re pulling from something directly, you can lean into that style in such a way.
She and co-star Mark Ruffalo had a blast filming it together, with Maslany commenting on how it works so well with "how meta this [She-Hulk] world is:"
“Mark and I really had fun with that, it was really special. Again, it really lives in that world of how meta this [She-Hulk] world is."
She-Hulk Opening Meets The Incredible Hulk
She-Hulk is known as the original meta character in Marvel Comics, breaking the fourth wall long before Deadpool even though the latter took the concept and ran with it in mainstream media. Coiro made it clear that the team wanted to use this idea as much as possible for her Season 1 finale, paying tribute to the Hulk's origin even if it came as something confusing for fans who have kept up with the show for the previous eight weeks.
While this introduction may have been confusing to fans who were unfamiliar with The Incredible Hulk's run from the '70s and '80s, it was yet another way for the show to acknowledge the character's history while adapting it for the modern MCU. In the end, it only makes sense that She-Hulk would picture her nightmare scenario as a sequence from another TV show, which was the start of her immediate journey toward the show's biggest fourth wall break yet.
This sequence even brought a few scenes to life that had been used in the marketing campaign for months, finally showing fans the hard work that Marvel had done to make She-Hulk's first MCU project as memorable as it could be. Now, the wait begins to find out how the heroine's journey will continue, whether it be in She-Hulk Season 2 or with a potential appearance in one of the next major Avengers outings.
All nine episodes of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law are now streaming on Disney+.