Sometimes, superhero movies and TV series need to take liberties with the source material they’re adapting. In the case of She-Hulk, writer Jessica Gao explains that Jennifer Walters’s origin story just didn’t really gel with the MCU.
“Marvel top brass didn’t really want to do the assassination attempt by a mob. It just felt like it didn’t really keep in the tone of everything that we were making,” she told a roundtable attended by The Digital Fix. “And because we wanted to focus on Jen and her current journey, we needed something that was very quick that didn’t require a tonne of backstory.”
Gao’s referring to how Jennifer gets her powers in the comics. Jennifer is targeted by some mobsters because she’s the daughter of an LA sheriff. She winds up fatally shot, and Bruce Banner, her cousin, is the only one around with the available blood type. Of course, he’s also full of gamma radiation, and after the transfusion, she becomes a all means and green. It’s all a bit tragic compared to her later, more light-hearted stories, and the MCU in general, so it’s been altered for this MCU character.
In her Marvel series, she mixes with Bruce much more accidentally, and they wind up training together to control her Hulk side. In trailers so far, it’s played up for laughs, rather than being something that started with a hit on Jessica.
Gao also took time to discuss Bruce’s perspective in all this. “We’ve seen this particular Hulk in so many movies over the course of over a decade, really, really struggle with this thing that he sees as a curse to him, it was deeply traumatic,” she said. “It just didn’t make sense to me that there would be any situation where he would willingly give this condition to somebody else, especially somebody that he cared about that was so close to him.”
She-Hulk stars Tatiana Maslany, Mark Ruffalo, and Jameela Jamil, and it premieres on the streaming service Disney Plus August 18. For more marvelous adventures, check out our ranking of all the MCU movies.