To say the season finale of She-Hulk broke the fourth wall is an understatement; instead, it would be more accurate to say it was Hulk-Smashed into a fine powder. Your appreciation for the unbelievably meta ending may vary, but it’s worth noting that the... entity pulling the strings of season one was originally different.
In “Whose Show Is This?”, Jen (Tatiana Maslany) gets so fed up with the random guest stars and mundane CG throwdown that closes most Marvel Cinematic Universe stories that she bursts into the Disney+ app, breaks into the actual Marvel Studios, confronts the She-Hulk TV series writers room, and eventually meets the mastermind of the MCU: Kevin. Well, not Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, but K.E.V.I.N., the Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus, a GLaDOS-like robot whose A.I. produces the greatest (or at least the most profitable) entertainment possible. It’s a fun reveal that pays homage to the She-Hulk comics’ long tradition of fourth-wall smashing, but as showrunner Jessica Gao has revealed, it wasn’t the original plan.
As Gao told Marvel.com, she originally planned to write a traditional MCU brawl to end the series but it never felt right. That’s when K.E.V.I.N.—er, the real Kevin Feige—stepped in. “[He] really opened my mind to the idea that it’s okay to not do that because I was trying to do what I thought was the Marvel expectation of what the show had to be,” Gao explained. “He was like, ‘Why? No one’s telling you to do that, you don’t have to do that, you can do something completely different, we should be doing something completely different because this show is so different from anything that Marvel has done.’ It was getting that permission from him that really made me think, ‘Oh.’ It just changed everything.”
Once it was decided Jen would confront a Kevin, the original plan was apparently to “stunt cast it with like George Clooney or Jon Hamm, a very handsome debonair man in a tuxedo. K.E.V.I.N. is essentially this James Bond-type man in a tux.” Personally, I think the A.I. version works better, but I have one regret in that K.E.V.I.N. could have been shown wearing a black baseball cap like the real-life Feige constantly does, but instead it was worked into the robot’s design (which I did not notice when I originally watched).
Gao reveals a few more fun things about the finale in the article, but I want to say for my money, the She-Hulk finale wonderfully and wisely poked fun at the MCU template and was far more satisfying than any fight scene would have been. Watching Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox) be happy—in daylight—was its own delight, but Tatiana Maslany’s facial expression after asking K.E.VI.N. when the X-Men will be showing up (seen above) is easily my favorite MCU moment since Avengers: Endgame, hands down. No notes.
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