‘She-Hulk’: Bringing Matt Murdock into Jen Walters' Life
But, don't forget this is SHE-HULK's show.
Jennifer Walters has finally met her match in Matt Murdock. While the character was teased earlier in the season, he’s finally reintroduced to audiences in Episode 8 of Marvel Studios’ She-Hulk — and he’s very much the same Matt Murdock audiences have come to know and love over the years, once again played by Charlie Cox returning to the role.
“Knowing that Charlie was taking this character on again and that we got to reintroduce him through this show, the dynamic between him and Jen is so, so special,” Star Tatiana Maslany explains to Marvel.com.
Head writer Jessica Gao was thrilled to learn that the show could use both Matt Murdock and Daredevil. “It just made so much sense that he would be on this show because both he and Jen are lawyers by day, Super Heroes outside of the office, even though Jen is doing it reluctantly. What better character to kind of show how this struggle she's having is possible?”
Marvel comics writer Cody Ziglar penned the episode, with Gao adding that “when we first heard that we could use Daredevil and we started trying to break this episode, during that first conversation, at one point, Cody pulled a Daredevil comic out of his backpack. It was somehow already opened to the page he was talking about and was waving it around and pointing at the panels that he was referring to. So this episode was written by somebody with a lot of Daredevil love.”
In the episode, Matt Murdock, attorney at law, swoops in to help defend Luke Jacobson after Jen has to take him to court over a faulty suit (Remember, don’t use jet fuel in your super suits!). Jen is immediately stricken by Matt’s charm and legal swagger, and you know what? She’s cranky about it.
“You see it in the episode where they go head to head in the courtroom and Jen is annoyed that this guy came out of nowhere and showed her up.” When the two then find themselves at the same bar, Gao continues that Jen is “extra annoyed that he takes the high road and sends over this peace offering.”
It’s there at the bar, over an appletini, that Jen and Matt open up for the first time. While complaining about working for the “big guy,” Matt can’t help but note that Jen can certainly help the little guy, too, by balancing what she does with what She-Hulk can do — “I think you’re in a unique position to do some real good,” Matt tells her. “The way I see it, Jen Walters can use the law when society fails. And She-Hulk can help people when the law fails.”
It's this kind of smooth-talking that quickly wins Jen over.
“As they're talking in the bar, he's so charming and magnetic that she'll tell us, her friends, the audience, that she's kind of feeling it,” Gao continues. “But she's not really saying it to him. Then when she kind of puts herself out there in that little moment in the bar, she mistakes the fact that he has to go run and do Super Hero stuff for him not being interested and for her misreading it, which happens so often to us in life. There are these little points of near misses where they're really-- they both feel it, but no one's really saying.”
The writer's room was going for a very specific vibe for the Jen and Matt dynamic, explaining that the team was “banking on them having amazing chemistry.” Which they, without a doubt, do.
“I really wanted their dynamic to have this kind of Howard Hawks, very quick back and forth where they're attracted to each other, but they have to kind of poke and prod at each other. They're not just coming out and saying it. At least not to each other— ‘Hey, I'm into you.’”
While their time at the bar is cut short, they get a second chance later on after both Jen and Matt have to go help free Luke Jacobson (who’s been kidnapped by Leap Frog, it’s a long story). Realizing that there is definitely chemistry between them, Jen asks when Matt will be in town next, and not wanting to wait that long the two head back to Jen’s apartment where, for lack of any better term, they hook up!
“In the writer's room, when we were breaking the episode, we were all just really excited at the idea that they would hook up,” Gao adds. “He just seemed like the right dude for her. It was like, OK, no matter what we do, all roads should lead to them hooking up.”
But just because Matt and Daredevil are now in the mix, do not forget that this show is all about Jen Walters and She-Hulk. Audiences are very clearly reminded of that when during the larger fight in the episode, a very Daredevil-esque hallway fight scene is teased. Just when viewers think Daredevil is going to start fighting goons in a hallway, She-Hulk comes smashing through the wall, stopping everything in its tracks.
“We have to keep reminding people that this is Jen's show, this is She-Hulk's show,” Gao says with a laugh. “Everything in the show is like, how can we either subvert a trope or defy expectations or ground something in funny reality. That's kind of the ethos of the show. So of course, it was just natural for this show, being so meta, that we would acknowledge and tease the classic Daredevil hallway fight. But then, of course, we would have to undercut it with our girl, She-Hulk.”
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