Earlier this year, the Marvel Cinematic Universe took its first proper dive into the world of comedy with WandaVision's era-hopping sitcom story with universal consequences. Following the success of Marvel's premiere Disney+ venture, She-Hulk will continue to explore the genre in ten half-hour episodes of a legal comedy starring Orphan Black's Tatiana Maslany.
Recently, the series has reportedly cast its villain in The Good Place star Jameela Jamil, who will supposedly play the character's nemesis Titania. Additionally, Tim Roth has been confirmed to return as The Incredible Hulk's Abomination, while recent rumors have suggested Avengers villain group The Wrecking Group will appear.
While few specific details have been made public regarding the nature of the Disney+ comedy, The Direct has learned several details regarding the series that certainly set the tone for its humor.
SHE-HULK WILL BREAK THE FOURTH WALL
According to The Direct's sources, Marvel Studios' She-Hulk series will feature many instances of Jennifer Walters breaking the fourth wall as she does in the comics. Specifically, throughout her Disney+ show, Walters will acknowledge that she's a character within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Disney and Marvel have yet to confirm this rumored plot convention.
The super-powered Walters will also have multiple interactions with real-world celebrities in her ten-episode series, paving the way for surprising cameos.
It is currently unknown whether there will be an in-universe storyline explanation for She-Hulk's fourth wall-breaking, or if the audience interactions will go unexplained as Deadpool's did in his on-screen adventures in 2016's Deadpool and its 2018 sequel.
SHE-HULK GOES OUTSIDE THE BOX
While Marvel Studios' decision to include She-Hulk's fourth-wall-breaking antics in the MCU is not unprecedented, it is nonetheless still interesting. The comedic technique has been largely phased out of Jennifer Walters' comic storylines over the past decade, so the Kevin Feige-led studio has dusted off older runs for inspiration.
She-Hulk has previously been described as ten half-hour episodes of a legal comedy, and these new details continue to further justify this description. Granted, much like WandaVision, the series will still feature Marvel's classic blockbuster moments, particularly in the climactic episodes.
Kevin Feige previously mentioned that John Byrne's Sensational She-Hulk run from 1989 will be a significant influence on the series. Notably, this run was the first time the character was shown to break the fourth wall.
Marvel Studios' eagerness to delve into a convention like breaking the fourth wall in this Disney+ series should settle some fans' fears of Deadpool being drastically changed for the MCU. Going forward from the end of the Infinity Saga, the studio appears to be committed to expanding into unexpected narrative territory.
Some fans may assume that She-Hulk only opted to include the fourth-wall-breaking humor to capitalize on the success Deadpool saw. However, within Marvel Comics, the Merc with the Mouth didn't utilize this comedic technique until Deadpool (1997) Issue 27, nearly a decade after She-Hulk's adoption of the technique.
Much like how Fox opted to handle Deadpool across his two solo films, avoiding an in-universe explanation for the comedic strategy may be the most suitable option for She-Hulk to avoid any convoluted answers. Nonetheless, if the studio does opt to address it within the series, they will likely find a clever way of addressing it, like how WandaVision's sitcom antics were the result of Wanda Maximoff's grief-dreived Hex.
Real-world people making appearances as themselves in the MCU isn't a totally new concept. News anchors such as Bill O'Reilly and Pat Kiernan have made the occasional TV appearances within Marvel's films, while tech bosses Elon Musk and Larry Ellison both popped up in Iron Man 2.
However, given Tony Stark's billionaire CEO status, there's a logical explanation for him to have interactions with major celebrities. While mutated lawyer Jennifer Walters hanging out with A-list celebrities is a much tougher one to explain away, there is one intriguing possibility.
On the page, it has often been established that Marvel Comics exists within the universe itself as a retelling of the heroic acts of superheroes. Within some She-Hulk comic runs, this has had a particular bearing on the story as past issues have often been cited as evidence within superhuman court cases.
If Marvel Studios opted to adapt this concept, they could potentially switch it up to films and series to be more meta within its own medium. This could explain away the series' celebrity cameos with appearances from the creatives behind the films, series, and comics.
Stan Lee established such a precedent, appearing on-screen with almost two decades worth of Marvel movie cameos. With the man who made the legendary comic publisher what it is today now sadly gone, it would be a shame to let the tradition leave with him.
In past comics, She-Hulk has been known to be aware of the fact she is a comic book character, occasionally tearing up her own pages and even arguing with John Byrne himself. In the writer's last issue, the comic's editor, Renée Witterstaetter, kidnapped the departing writer while she and Jennifer went on a mission to find his replacement.
If Marvel Studios is willing to play with all these comedic elements that made Byrne's time with the character so great, then it could make for some excellent self-aware comedy that pokes fun at Marvel and the series itself.
She-Hulk will premiere exclusively on Disney+ in 2022.