[UPDATE 19th October 2020]: Sorry to the bearer of slightly strange bad news, but apparently Orphan Black’s Tatiana Maslany might not be playing She-Hulk in the upcoming Disney Plus series after all. For those who missed it, the news broke back in September that Maslany would be stepping into the role, with multiple outlets reporting the news. At the time, the showrunner Jessica Gao retweeted the original Deadline report and our current Hulk, Mark Ruffalo congratulated the actress on joining the Marvel family.
Now though, Maslany herself has weighed in to dash all your dreams. In a recent interview, the actress shut down the rumours, claiming that she isn’t going to play She-Hulk. “That actually isn’t a real thing and it’s like a press release that’s gotten out of hand,” Maslany explained. “It’s totally not — I’ve been connected to these things in the past and press has gotten onto it, but it’s not actually a thing, unfortunately.”
Hmmmmm, is this a double bluff? Marvel is known to be pretty secretive with their casting to try and get people hyped for their projects, so it’s not totally out of the question. We’re just going to have to quell our frustration and be patient.
[ORIGINAL 18th September 2020]: Happy Friday, y’all, but a special happy Friday to one Miss Tatiana Maslany, who’s about to become Marvel’s next big superhero.
According to Deadline, the Orphan Black star—who plays *checks notes* 90 percent of the cast on the show—reportedly just landed the titular role in Marvel’s She-Hulk series. That’s right baby, Maslany is about to play another pair of personalities as Jennifer Susan Walters, A.K.A She-Hulk, A.K.A the very woman who could crush my bones and it’d be a damn blessing.
She-Hulk, for those who don’t know, is the last major Marvel character co-designed by the late Stan Lee to make their way to the big screen. As her origin story goes, Jennifer Susan Walters is a criminal justice lawyer who, after an injury, receives an emergency blood transfusion from her cousin Bruce Banner (as in, y’know, the man behind the Big Green Guy) and in the process, gains a milder version of Bruce’s gamma-radiation abilities.
And, the best bit? Unlike Bruce who goes on a wild violent rampage whenever the Hulk takes over, Jessica has complete control of her powers and keeps her intelligence and personality when turned.
Her individual comic storylines are as much about representing her hero pals, the laws, and government bodies tied to the superhero world as they are about beating up baddies—think Jessica Jones meets season 3 of Search Party or Succession meets The Boys. Since 2004, her character has taken on in-universe court cases like Spider-Man suing shock jockey journo James J. Jameson for libel, cleared Captain America of murder charges and brought in Doctor Strange to communicate with a victim’s ghost to identify their killer (very fucking cool). According to Gizmodo, Mark Ruffalo, who plays the MCU’s Big Angry Green Man, is rumoured to appear in the series, much like Jeremy Renner whose Hawkeye will be a mentor to the next Hawkeye in Kate Bishop: Hawkeye.
Earlier this week, per Deadline, Marvel Studios confirmed that Kat Coiro would direct the She-Hulk project and Rick and Morty writer Jessica Gao will join the writers room. As fans on the Marvel Studios Spoilers subreddit pointed out, Tatiana Maslany is a small gal (roughly about 1.63m), so it’s fully likely that we’ll see her CGI’d like Mark Ruffalo in Avengers: Endgame when she’s She-Hulk.
The She-Hulk project is just one of a number of exciting Marvel superhero shows coming to Disney Plus. The hefty list includes The Falcon & The Winter Soldier, WandaVision, Loki, Kate Bishop: Hawkeye, Ms. Marvel (our first Muslim-American superhero!) and Moon Knight. According to TechRadar and this video of programs coming to Disney Plus on the official Disney Plus Twitter account, while The Falcon & The Winter Soldier was first announced to kick off the lineup of MCU TV shows, WandaVision is now set to premiere later this year instead.
Personally, WandaVision is the one I’m most excited for. Not only do I just love Scarlet Witch as a character, but her reality bending powers could be what brings in the multiverse (for real this time). She might also enable mutants (which ICYMI, are queer culture) and Wiccan, Wanda’s gay witch son who has a Skrull boyfriend called Hulkling. Hulking could then by proxy bring in the Young Avengers, especially since we know a Kate Bishop series forthcoming. WandaVision is also supposed to eventually tie into the plot of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness and if my blood ritual works this time, a House of M event in the MCU.
All of the MCU Disney Plus shows will star their respective cinematic counterparts, feature some iconic cameos and tie into the overarching cinematic timeline. For now, if you want to learn more about the She-Hulk character or Tatiana Maslany’s amazing acting talent, I suggest reading Charles Soule, Javier Pulido and Kevin Wada’s She-Hulk (2014-2015) and Mariko Tamaki’s Hulk (2016-2017), and checking out Orphan Black on Stan.
Image credit: @DrawsTom on Twitter.