As if the Disney Plus series’ attempt to market itself by downplaying the achievements and experience of the Jade Giantess’ more famous cousin wasn’t proof enough already, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law director Kat Coiro has confirmed that two of the most important aspects to the next MCU entry’s development were “inclusivity and making sure that the story was told through the female lens.”
Coiro provided this insight into the series’ focus during a recent interview given to Entertainment Weekly in promotion of She-Hulk‘s rapidly approaching premiere.
Asked by staff writer Sydney Bucksbaum how having “a team of all women behind the camera” influenced the series’ production, the director asserted, “I will be so excited on the day when that is not a big deal.”
“We’re not there yet,” she opined, “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,” she told Bucksbaum. “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?”
The director then revealed that, with these goals in mind, “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,” explained Coiro. “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.
Putting forth one example of such “nuanced things”, Coiro recalled, “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,” the director said. “Jennifer Walters doesn’t have to put up with that crap.”
Further, in response to Bucksbaum’s inquiring as to how “the series [will] tackle and evolve” the concept of rage in the Hulk mythos, and particularly what it means for Jen and her mean green alter ego, Coiro affirmed to her host, “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,” she continued. “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.”
Coiro also emphasized that the topic of gender would also be explored through Jen’s interactions with her Avengers cousin, Bruce.
“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,” teased the director.
“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,” she added. “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.”
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – after just yesterday receiving a one-day pushback from its original premiere date – is set to hit Disney Plus on August 18th.