There’s no shortage of rumor, speculation and misinformation when it comes to the who, what and when of Marvel characters making their way onto Disney’s newly launched streaming service. But one thing we know for sure is that She-Hulk is set to make her live-action TV debut, 40 years after her first comic book appearance in 1980.
Marvel is currently at the casting stage, but all the indications are that the TV series will stick closely to the comic book mythology. Let’s find out a little more about the mysterious lady in green, and what to expect on the small screen.
She-Hulk origins and background
Much like Batgirl and Spider-Woman, She-Hulk was devised by Stan Lee in reaction to the huge popularity of The Incredible Hulk. Since the comic strip’s creation back in the 1960s, it has spawned three movies and a TV series. There have also been more than a dozen games, on everything from early 8-bit home computers to the online slot game by provider Playtech to versions for the Gameboy, Xbox and PlayStation.
But there was more to She-Hulk’s creation than a desire to cash in on the Hulk’s popularity and woo female audiences. Stan Lee had seen what had happened with The Six Million Dollar Man, and knew that if he did not create a female Hulk, somebody else almost certainly would.
She-Hulk is the alter ego of Jennifer Walters, a successful lawyer and the cousin of a certain Bruce Banner. When she is in urgent need of a blood transfusion, her cousin is the only possible match for her rare blood type. The inevitable consequences ensue, in as much as anger transforms her into the green-skinned, muscle-bound hulk.
The character is more than just a female equivalent of the Hulk, however. Unlike her cousin, She-Hulk retains her personality, self control and intelligence. In later versions of the comic, she can no longer transform back into her normal human form.
Who will play She-Hulk?
Casting has left this question very much open to conjecture at this stage. Sources close to MCU indicate that the production team is looking for an actress aged 26-34 with comedic skills and the capacity to work on big or small screen productions. No mention has been made as to ethnicity, so at this stage it really is open season.
One notable name to weigh in on the debate has been Mark Ruffalo. The Hulk actor has said that he thinks Tessa Thompson would be an ideal fit for the role. However, the fact that she already plays Valkyrie means she is unlikely to be considered for a second Marvel role. Stephanie Beatriz of Brooklyn Nine-Nine fame has indicated an interest in the role, although she turns 40 this year.
Other names that have been suggested include Aubrey Plaza (Parks and Recreation), Paula Patton (Mission Impossible II) and Gina Torres (Suits).
Part of the reason a younger actress might be preferred is that the casting notes describe She-Hulk as “a future Avenger.” While this might simply be a reference to the comic book mythology, it also hints at the possibility that this will just be the beginning for the character’s live-action career. It also ties in with the stated requirement for someone who has the screen presence for a feature production.