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She-Hulk Writer Talks Budget Constraints And Post-Production Story Changes


Ahead of its impending premiere on Disney+, She Hulk head writer Jessica Gao has revealed more about what parts of the show have changed in post, and what elements have remained since its conception. In an interview with Variety, Gao talks budget constraints, expensive CGI, and how to pace the introduction of a new hero.

In writing the show, Gao admits that she didn’t have as much understanding as she might have liked around the logistics of filming such a CGI-heavy show. “When we were writing the show, I don’t think anybody really knew exactly how we were going to do this CGI character,” she explains. “From the beginning, I asked Kevin [Feige], ‘How much can we do? How cost-conscious should I be? Give me some guidelines.’ And he said, ‘If I’m gonna watch a show called She-Hulk, I want to see She-Hulk.’ That kind of was the carte blanche to just write it however I wanted.”

When budget issues did come to the fore, it required cutting more scenes involving She-Hulk. “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?'” Gao explains. “Even in post, you know, we had to cut a lot of shots by virtue just because it was She-Hulk.”

Another element that changed in post-production was the reveal of She-Hulk’s origin story, which involves Mark Ruffalo’s Bruce Banner and Smart Hulk. Originally this was planned for late in the season, not coming up until episode 8, but after filming the decision was made to move it ahead to the start of the season–which Gao acknowledges created more crunch for the show’s already overworked VFX artists.

“Switching that up, I’m sure, made people scramble,” she admits. “The VFX artists just have to do an impossible task in general. You know, like, this is such a massive undertaking, and they’re already under such a time crunch.”

She Hulk premieres on Disney+ on Thursday, August 18.

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