She-Hulk: Attorney at Law premiered on Disney+ on Aug. 18, kicking things off with the origin story of how a lawyer named Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) reluctantly became the big, green superhero known as She-Hulk. However, according to the show’s creator, Jessica Gao, that origin story wasn’t initially supposed to come until much later. In recent interviews, Gao dished on rearranging She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’s episode order and all the other changes Marvel made to the show before its debut.
[Spoiler alert: The following story contains spoilers for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law Episode 1.]
‘She-Hulk: Attorney at Law’ Episode 1 included several scenes that were originally in episode 8
The premiere episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law tells a flashback-style story of how Jennifer turned into She-Hulk. While traveling with her cousin, Bruce Banner/Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), the two got into a car accident that resulted in both Bruce and Jennifer getting bloody injuries. Jennifer rescued Bruce from the wreck, but his blood mixed with hers, immediately turning her into a Hulk as well.
Jennifer runs away, frightened, but later wakes up at Bruce’s home and secret lab on a secluded island. Bruce tries to convince her of the dangers that come with being a Hulk and insists that she needs to be studied and trained. Much of the episode shows Bruce and Jennifer in their Hulk forms, working on Jennifer’s strength and control.
In a recent interview with Variety, Gao revealed that these scenes were originally planned for closer to the season’s end. However, the creators changed She-Hulk’s episode order in post-production.
“Most of the pilot that you see was actually Episode 8,” Gao said. “We waited until the very end of the season to really reveal her origin story.”
According to Gao, the decision to reorder the episodes came down to “several factors.” However, it was mostly about helping fans understand the character as early as possible.
“We just realized people really wanted to know that information sooner. It was hard for them to not know the origin story and then get to know this character,” Gao added.
Multiple She-Hulk scenes were cut from the show
Other changes made to the show revolve around how many times fans see Jennifer as She-Hulk. Gao told Variety that she and Marvel president Kevin Feige initially wanted way more She-Hulk moments. Unfortunately, the high cost of creating visual effects meant cutting down She-Hulk scenes. Gao said:
“Once we got into pre-production and production itself, once somebody had to sit down and start figuring out the cost of everything, it was like every week, I was told, ‘Can you cut more She-Hulk scenes? Can you change more She-Hulk scenes to Jen? Can she be Jen in more scenes?’ There were a lot of things that then had to be changed at the last minute to go from She-Hulk to Jen. Even in post, you know, we had to cut a lot of shots by virtue just because it was She-Hulk.”
‘She-Hulk’ also received a name change weeks before release
For a while, She-Hulk was only known by the name of its titular hero. However, as development neared the final stages and promos went public, Marvel added Attorney at Law to the title. As Gao recently told Lifehacker Australia, that change came directly from Feige.
“We always had the line in the show where Bruce says, ‘She-Hulk, attorney at law. It’s got a nice ring to it,'” the creator shared. “And one day we were watching cuts and when it got to that scene Kevin just said, ‘That’s a great title for a show, that should be the title of the show.’ And that’s it. You know when the golden tongue of Kevin Feige speaks then it becomes canon and that’s really how it happened.”
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now streaming on Disney+. New episodes drop every Thursday.