The first episode of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law has already been out. In and amongst introducing audiences to the story of She-Hulk/Jennifer Walters played by Tatiana Maslany, the first episode proved to have some surprising connections and references to larger lore, written by head writer Jessica Gao.
Jessica Gao recently revealed that she pitched a black widow movie to Marvel Studios that involved Jennifer Walters but was declined by the studio. The author had pitched an idea for the Black Widow movie, which at last leads the creation of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. While Gao was reluctant to go into detail about her pitch, she said that it revolved around Natasha Romanoff returning to the American high school she was doing undercover surveillance on during her teenage years as she deals with the aftermath of the assassination of a classmate’s father.
In an interview with The Wrap, Gao explained her black widow idea and revealed that the premise would have been Natasha Romanoff attending a high school reunion, confronting her past within the process.
“It was basically a ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ story for black widow. Basically, you find out that in high school, as a teenage spy/Russian agent, she was planted at an American high school, because she had to assassinate someone’s dad then 20 years later, she goes back to the high school reunion and has to deal with the fallout of this fake identity where she betrayed all these people in high school.”
Black Widow wasn’t the only film Gao pitched to Marvel. She also pitched her versions of Captain Marvel and Shang-Chi and therefore the Legend of the Ten Rings. While those ideas didn’t work out, she did eventually land a pitch for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.
“Each time, [Marvel Studios] got to know me more, I got to know them more,” the author added. “By the time I came into pitch ‘She-Hulk,’ i think they had a very good sense of what my sense of humor was. they had a good sense of what type of writer I was, and what kind of story I built. they just had a very good indication of what I’m about. I think that that helped sell it.”
While the plot of her black widow film certainly sounds like it could’ve provided a unique perspective on Natasha’s story, the MCU went in other directions.