She-Hulk Finale Gave Us An Iconic ‘Kevin Feige’ Cameo
The She-Hulk: Attorney At Law season finale was more unexpected than any previous Marvel television series. As it began to end on a high-intensity battle of Hulk(s), Jennifer Walters or Tatiana Maslany, dissatisfied by the turn of events, broke the fourth wall and entered into the real world, entering the most fantastic place. And that place was Marvel Studios. The actual production and administrative office of the Walt Disney subsidiary.
After pleading her case with the show’s writers, she realizes it’s Kevin (a reference to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige) calling all the shots, and she decides to confront the big guy himself. Storming into the Marvel Studios office, she takes down a few guards and enters the room to find Kevin. But it’s not Kevin. Instead, she meets K.E.V.I.N.
It turns out it’s an A.I. — Knowledge Enhanced Visual Interconnectivity Nexus, pulling all the strings at Marvel Studios, using a robust entertainment algorithm to produce all MCU ventures. Honestly, as the scene was building up, everyone must have been hoping for Kevin Feige to make a cameo in his production, but instead, they got a better surprise.
Talking to Marvel.com, Jessica Gao shared some moments from when she and the writers planned for K.E.V.I.N. Gao stated that she felt it was right to give Jen a sense of self-awareness, which led to the extreme fourth-break wall. She said,
It felt natural that not only that she was in a show, but that she would have opinions about the show, especially since she just was completely betrayed by the makers of this show. It just felt right that she would go and complain to the ultimate lord of Marvel, which is K.E.V.I.N.
She further revealed that they talked about having a human character to play K.E.V.I.N., even jokingly deciding on some exciting names:
Once the idea that Jen would go to Marvel Studios itself and reach K.E.V.I.N.’s office, the creative team started toying around with the idea of actually getting a human to play K.E.V.I.N., joking that they would “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.
Interestingly, the AI K.E.V.I.N. had a nice touch in reference to Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige. The robot wears a hat on the top, just like Feige does in his signature outfit.
I wrote in the script that when she sees this big AI machine, it’s wearing a little black baseball hat, a classic Kevin Feige-style black baseball hat. When the [visual development team] was showing us different possible sketches of K.E.V.I.N., they were all wearing little hats. No matter what type of robot or machine it was, it was wearing a little black baseball hat on top.
It took a while to convince Feige that this playful nod to him was a good call for the show. And it surely did appease the fans. Gao recalled talking to Kevin [the human one] about K.E.V.I.N. wearing a hat:
Kevin said, ‘Well, that doesn’t make a lick of sense, why would a robot wear a hat?’ I said, ‘That’s the part that doesn’t make sense to you, Kevin, that is the line of logic that you won’t cross, we have you represented as an AI brain that is controlling all of the Marvel Cinematic Universes, but the thing that you can’t get past is that it might have a hat on top of the machine?’ And he said, ‘Yeah.’
The K.E.V.I.N. reveal was quite a surprising and equally exciting one. The way Marvel Cinematic Universe has expanded into such a vast shared continuity with intertwined stories and a big pool of characters — it does take a sharp mind to pull all of that. And representing Kevin Feige with an AI brain references that idea.
She-Hulk ended with quite a low-risk finale. The fourth-wall break toned down the final sequence and obliterated a big villain fight, which, usually, is the case with a Marvel Cinematic Universe production. But it wasn’t the case with She-Hulk, and Kevin Feige was totally on board with that thought.
Gao revealed that Kevin prompted her to do her own thing with the show and make it completely different, which fits the personality and arc of the character. Kevin assured Gao during production that she was not obligated to end the show with a battle, and that’s how the exciting finale came to shape. Gao said:
[Kevin] really opened my mind to the idea that it’s OK to not do that because I was trying to do what I thought was the Marvel expectation of what the show had to be. 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.
Kevin Feige has always been supportive of his creative team behind every project. Over the years, several actors have incorporated improvisations into their respective characters, which has further made MCU like one big superhero family. And with K.E.V.I.N, Feige has at least figuratively joined that family, if not literally.