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She-Hulk star says there’s no hope for season 2

‘Disney was like, no thanks!’

Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk holds up her phone to take a selfie Image: Marvel Studios
Oli Welsh is senior editor, U.K., providing news, analysis, and criticism of film, TV, and games. He has been covering the business & culture of video games for two decades.

Tatiana Maslany, the actor who played Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk, in She-Hulk: Attorney At Law, has dashed any hopes of a second season of Marvel’s divisive Disney Plus show.

Appearing on streamer NerdIncorrect’s Twitch gameshow Codenames Live (which Polygon viewed on Jan. 16, but which subsequently appears to have been removed from Twitch’s archive), Maslany was asked by the host, “Should we hope for a season 2?”

“I don’t think so,” Maslany replied. “I think we blew our budget, and Disney was like, ‘no thanks!’”

Maslany’s statement isn’t official, of course, but it sounds quite final. A second season of the show was never discussed by Marvel, although head writer Jessica Gao has said she had ideas for further seasons, and the final episode left the possibility open.

But if Disney has decided against any further She-Hulk on TV, it wouldn’t be a surprise. In several ways, She-Hulk: Attorney At Law was emblematic of the issues Disney has faced with its ambitious plan to extend its top-tier cinematic franchises, Marvel and Star Wars, into streaming TV series.

As Maslany hinted, top of those is cost. Conceptually, She-Hulk was intentionally quite modest: a comedy that would gently spoof a staple TV genre, the legal drama, as well as involve some low- to mid-level superhero hi-jinks, and some of the fourth-wall-breaking meta-comedy associated with the character in the comics.

But its main character was a walking special effect, which (according to Variety) led to ballooning budgets of as much as $25 million per episode and a total cost equal to that of a major blockbuster movie release. That’s a high price tag for a show with a niche, low-stakes concept, which had only a middling impact on its release. To make matters worse, Variety also reported that Marvel Studios’ script development and production processes proved ill-suited to episodic TV, resulting (in She-Hulk’s case) in rushed and unfinished visual effects that were especially underwhelming, considering the budget.

She-Hulk was an object lesson in how difficult it is to scale franchise moviemaking down to TV, and its apparent cancellation is indicative of a shift away from this expensive strategy at Disney. After premiering nine live-action shows in the space of three years, Marvel is now leaning into animation with the likes of this year’s X-Men ’97 and Eyes of Wakanda; it only has a few live-action TV projects on its slate, and the status of many of these, beyond this year’s Agatha: Darkhold Diaries, is unclear.

As for She-Hulk, it seems possible the character will pop up in future MCU movies, but Maslany certainly isn’t working on anything yet. “I’ve got nothing going on. You can find me on Instagram, not posting,” she joked on the stream. “I’ve got no job.”

Update (Jan. 18): The archive of the NerdIncorrect Twitch stream on which Maslany made her comments about She-Hulk appears to have been removed. NerdIncorrect has not offered any comment explaining the video’s disappearance.

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