She-Hulk head writer talks making a situational comedy in the MCU

She-Hulk
(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

She-Hulk's about to come crashing and smashing her way into the MCU. Orphan Black star Tatiana Maslany plays the eponymous hero, who handles superhuman cases at her law firm. Oh, and she happens to be the cousin of Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner. Just like in the comics, Jennifer Walters gets a blood transfusion from Bruce and develops a more controllable subset of his Hulk powers which she has to integrate into her everyday existence. 

However, rather than do another series about someone with superpowers battling evil, head writer Jessica Gao wanted to focus on what it means to be a thirty-something who suddenly ends up with powers. "She’s this highly educated woman whose life gets completely thrown off track," Gao says while talking to SFX magazine for the new issue, featuring Prey on the cover (opens in new tab).

"I really wanted her to have a well-rounded life," she continues. "I didn’t want to just have a show that was talking about superhero stuff only. She’s a person first and then she had superpowers dumped on top of her. But there’s still a person under there who still has to live a life. Really, that is the crux of the show: this person that’s underneath all of that."

As a result, the tone of the show is different from what we have seen before in the Marvel universe. "It’s really threading a fine line between situational comedy – and there is a sitcom element as a lot of the writers come from the sitcom world – but still existing within the MCU," she explains. "That was always the challenge. Even Kevin [Feige] has described it as a half-hour legal show, so there’s a little bit of Ally McBeal in there. But you also still have to feel like you’re within this universe."

Gao says that including Walters’ family in the ensemble helped keep the story intimate and centred on her life. "What is the family dynamic when you have a Hulk, and when you have a second Hulk in the family?" Gao asks.

She-Hulk: Attorney At Law is on Disney Plus from 17 August. For much more on the series, check out the current issue of SFX Magazine (opens in new tab) with Predator prequel Prey on the cover. For even more from SFX, sign up to the newsletter, sending all the latest exclusives straight to your inbox.

Freelance Writer

Tara is the NYT bestselling author (or co-author) of 30 movie and TV companion books including the upcoming official history of Marvel Studios. She's also a freelance journalist with bylines at print and online publications such as: SCI FI Magazine, Total Film, SYFY Wire, Today.com, Fandom, Fandango/Movies.com, Fancast, Newsarama, Star Wars: Insider, Walking Dead Magazine, Star Trek Magazine, LOST: The Official Magazine, Alias Magazine, 24 Magazine, and VFXWorld.com. She is also the U.S. Editor for the world’s premiere sci-fi/fantasy publication, SFX Magazine. She is the host and producer for SYFY Wire’s official podcasts for USA Network’s, Colony, HISTORY's Project Blue Book official podcast, and the Lost retrospective, Through the Looking Glass co-hosted with Maureen Ryan.