Writer Jessica Gao on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law – ‘Comedy Was Kind of a Priority’

Courtesy of Marvel Studios

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is described as a lawyer comedy in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and Tatiana Maslany plays the title character. The show is a love letter to the MCU and She-Hulk’s comic book series, especially when she breaks the fourth wall, similar to her 1989 comic book series from John Byrne. In the Marvel Studios series, Jennifer Walters gets her powers accidentally through Bruce Banner. However, she gets to retain her persona without an outside personality interfering.

The series features courtroom drama, dating, and Marvel elements, and Maslany was ecstatic to join the project.

“Going to the courtroom was really exciting,” Maslany said during the global press conference. “It was fun. What’s so great about the show is that it has all those huge Marvel elements to it. Like, there are big set pieces. However, we also deal with She-Hulk… swipe dating. And we deal with her helping her dad carry stuff into the garage. So, it’s those little sweet moments that really made me excited to do this show.”

Kat Coiro is a director and executive producer on the show who directed episodes 1-4 and 8-9. She remembered vividly when she was a little girl seeing the cover of a She-Hulk comic in a sea of male comics.

“And just not knowing who she was or what this was, but knowing that I was moved by it,” Coiro said. “And that the idea of being large and in charge and, you know, taking control. Taking up space was something that really resonated with me. And I remember, I bought that comic book. And so, when this show came along, it was really the culmination of a real dream.”

Mark Ruffalo reprises his role as Bruce Banner and Smart Hulk, and his character helps Jennifer with her newfound abilities and powers.

“When Mark comes to set and it’s like, Mark and I are doing these, like, kind of sibling scenes, where we’re ripping each other, but also love each other very much,” Maslany said. “It was a very easy dynamic to bring to camera because it just was right. It just made sense, you know what I mean? And I feel like a lot of the characters in this show have that ring of truth that’s very easy to bring to.”

Jessica Gao is an executive producer and writer, and since she came from a TV comedy background, she’s in her element with She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

“The comedy was kind of a priority,” Gao said. “But then, what’s great about having such an incredible cast, it feels like you’re cheating a little bit as a writer. Because they come in and they really just imbue this humanity and this realness to these characters. Where you were like, ‘Oh, I was kinda focused on jokes, but you guys made her a real person.’”

About She-Hulk: Attorney at Law

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will stream exclusively on Disney+ starting on August 17, 2022. It stars Tatiana Maslany as She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters, a lawyer who specializes in superhuman-oriented legal cases.

Directed by Kat Coiro (Episodes 1, 2, 3, 4, 8, 9) and Anu Valia (Episodes 5, 6, 7) with Jessica Gao as head writer, “She-Hulk: Attorney at Law” follows Jennifer Walters as she navigates the complicated life of a single, 30-something attorney who also happens to be a green 6-foot-7-inch superpowered hulk.

The nine-episode series welcomes a host of MCU vets, including Mark Ruffalo as Smart Hulk, Tim Roth as Emil Blonsky/the Abomination, and Benedict Wong as Wong. The cast also includes Ginger Gonzaga, Josh Segarra, Jameela Jamil, Jon Bass and Renée Elise Goldsberry.

Executive producers are Kevin Feige, Louis D’Esposito, Victoria Alonso, Brad Winderbaum, Kat Coiro and Jessica Gao. Co-executive producers are Wendy Jacobson and Jennifer Booth.

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