Well, here’s some SMASH-ing casting news! Tatiana Maslany, the brilliant star of Orphan Black, has been cast in the lead role of Marvel’s upcoming She-Hulk TV series. Variety and Deadline have both learned via their sources that the 36-year old actress is in the final stages of nailing down a deal that will see her play Jennifer Walters aka the sensational She-Hulk. Disney and Marvel are yet to officially confirm the casting.
First introduced in comics in 1980, Jennifer Walters is the cousin of Bruce Banner aka the Incredible Hulk. A criminal defense lawyer by trade, Walters is caught in the crosshairs of a local mob boss on the day she’s visited by her cousin who has come to tell her that he’s secretly the Hulk. Shot and bleeding out, Walters gets an emergency blood transfusion from Banner, but his gamma-irradiated blood in her bloodstream is triggered when the gunmen return to finish the job, transforming her into the muscled, green-skinned She-Hulk.
She-Hulk also possesses Hulk’s enhanced strength, healing, durability, and endurance, but in reduced form. Unlike Hulk’s more monstrous appearance though, She-Hulk has a statuesque Amazonian appearance and fully retains her mental faculties (though the traditionally shy Jennifer becomes far more confident and assertive). While initially seeing her transformations triggered by her emotions, she soon learns to control the change, and even decides to permanently live in her transformed state for years, still practicing law as well.
And if there was an actress who could pull off switching between the various personality traits of Jennifer Walters and She-Hulk, it’s definitely Tatiana Maslany. The Canadian-born actress had her huge breakout in 2013 with Orphan Black, a sci-fi series that saw her playing over half a dozen different cloned versions of her character, all with wildly different personalities, mannerisms, and appearances. Often times all in the same scene. And she nailed them, earning massive acclaim and a several award recognitions, including Golden Globe and Emmy nominations.
Since Orphan Black ended in 2017, Maslany has been doing steady work in movies and TV series such as Destroyer and the recent Perry Mason. She was frequently a scene-stealer with her turns, but she was yet to land another meaty role quite on the level of Orphan Black. She-Hulk could definitely change that. Just how she will bring the character to life is a question that still needs to be answered. Standing at just 1.63m tall, Maslany is definitely no physical match for She-Hulk’s dimensions. And seeing as the character traditionally stays Hulked out all the time, how is this going to work? Will Maslany just be doing motion-capture for a CGI She-Hulk? Will they be using fancy make-up and camera tricks? Or do the creators have something totally unexpected in mind?
However it’s going to work, the upcoming series is being set up by Marvel on Disney+ with Jessica Gao (Rick and Morty) serving as lead writer/showrunner. Just this week it was also reported that acclaimed TV director Kat Coiro (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, The Mick) has been tapped to helm the show’s pilot as well as a number of its first season episodes. Just when that season will air is unclear as all the Marvel shows on Disney+ saw their productions pushed back by the COVID-19 pandemic.
UPDATE: Disney and Marvel have still not made any official comment to confirm Maslany’s casting, but the Hulk himself is already welcoming her to the family.
Last Updated: September 18, 2020