‘She-Hulk’ writer pitched a ‘Black Widow’ movie with Jennifer Walters

she-hulk disney marvel plus
Image via Disney Plus

With the premiere of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law only days away, there’s been a lot of press and new information about how the series came to fruition. Turns out the debut of She-Hulk in the MCU could have happened a lot differently.

In an interview with Variety, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law head writer Jessica Gao revealed she actually pitched a completely different project for the gamma-infused superhero: Black Widow.

“The first thing I ever pitched on was for the ‘Black Widow’ movie, and I actually had She-Hulk in my pitch. She was my favorite character from the comics, and I just wanted to see her in the MCU. At one point, I think it was [Marvel executive] Brad Winderbaum who said, ‘It kind of feels like you’re pitching us She-Hulk movie with Black Widow in it.’”

Gao said she laughed at the comment. “Guilty as charged, but you know what, it all worked out.”

The Black Widow movie came out in 2021 and starred Scarlett Johansson and Florence Pugh, with the obvious lack of a super powerful green-tinged female who happens to have a law degree. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law starring Tatiana Maslany as Jennifer Walters is another vehicle altogether.

What about her initial pitch for the show? How close did that end up being to the final product?

“My pitch for the show is pretty close to the show that you’re watching. All the kind of key foundational elements were there: Emil Blonsky/Abomination was always in the pitch. Bruce was always in the pitch. I didn’t know if I could use them. I didn’t know what their relationship was to Abomination anymore. But I thought, you know what? This is what I want — so I’ll just pitch it. Thankfully, they liked all of it. When I went in, it definitely skewed a lot more heavily towards Blonsky’s trial. In my original pitch, it was an actual trial and it spanned multiple episodes. When we got into the writers’ room, inevitably things change as you’re developing the show and as you start writing. And one thing that we all realized very slowly was none of us are that adept at writing, you know, rousing trial scenes.”

A lot of MCU franchises have a lot of laughter in them, but She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is Marvel’s first attempt at a straight-on comedy. Part of this is fourth-wall breaking by the main character. Mao revealed that there was some concern about that particular narrative device by Marvel.

We’ll get to see how it all plays out when She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premieres on August 18 on Disney Plus.