She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is the latest MCU epic to hit Disney+ and fans are eating it up. The series stars Tatiana Maslany (Orphan Black) as Jennifer Walters, the cousin of Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner who, after a hematological mishap, becomes a Hulk all to her own.
The sitcom has been years in the making, taking shape as an "enticingly witty" costumed comedy and something that is wholly new for Marvel Studios. And while fans have known for a while that the show would be what it ultimately has become, something has changed in the past couple of months - the name!
The series was once simply titled She-Hulk, but when its main trailer dropped just three months ahead of the show's debut, it received an official name change with the subtitle, Attorney at Law. So why was this swap made so late into the process? Well, the project's head writer has just pulled the curtain back on the project.
Why the She-Hulk Changes Were Made
In an interview with Lifehacker Australia, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law head writer Jessica Gao revealed why the Disney+ series was retitled in the run-up to release.
On the addition of the Attorney at Law tag, Gao said it comes back to a line from Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner where he says, "She-Hulk, attorney at law, it’s got a nice ring to it." The writer revealed that one day they were reviewing footage and when it got to that scene Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige said "that should be the title of the show," ultimately causing the change to be made by Disney+ and Marvel Studios:
“We always had the line in the show where Bruce says ‘She-Hulk attorney at law, it’s got a nice ring to it’. 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.”
On the topic of Feige, She-Hulk: Attorney at Law director Kat Coiro told Variety about what it was like working alongside the Hollywood giant. She said the Marvel Studios figurehead is "very involved," while still being a "may-the-best-idea-win, let’s-all-make-this-together [experience]:"
"I think the most surprising thing for me was that it’s not an incredibly rigid world. It really is a may-the-best-idea-win, let’s-all-make-this-together [experience]. People always ask me, 'Is Kevin [Feige] involved?' Kevin is very involved. You’re constantly trying things out, especially in the prep phase — trying out scenes and getting them all the way to pre vis and then going, 'You know what would be better? This would be better.' I think it’s a very unusual way to work. And it ends up being really gratifying, because you get to try things out, and you get to play around with your co-collaborators."
Coiro also addressed what influenced the show, with Ally Mcbeal being a big name that came up. She told the outlet that after hearing Marvel was doing She-Hulk she hoped "[it would have] an Ally McBeal vibe” including moments of "breaking the fourth wall and really bringing that femininity into the courtroom:"
"No. I was not necessarily an 'Ally McBeal' fan, but I knew all about it when it was on, because it did break so many conventions. It played with the law firm genre and turned it on its head and made it very feminine. When I heard they were doing 'She-Hulk' — before I had a meeting, before I’d seen a scene from a script — I thought, “Oh, I hope that it’s got an ‘Ally McBeal’ vibe,” meaning breaking the fourth wall and really bringing that femininity into the courtroom. When I read it, I definitely felt like there was an 'Ally McBeal”'vibe. There are different accounts of how much “Ally McBeal” has influenced the show. But for me, it was something that I went back and watched after I started talking about 'She-Hulk' with Marvel."
What Kevin Feige Says Goes
Yet another example of why Kevin Feige is one of the best in the business. It is funny to look back now. Sure, She-Hulk would have been a perfectly fine title. It is a show about She-Hulk, what more could someone want?
But adding that Attorney at Law subtitle changes things. It exudes a certain personality that is present in the show. As Tatiana Maslany's Jen Walters says in the series premiere this is a "law show" after all. This is a courtroom comedy that happens to be a superhero show, rather than a superhero show that happens to be a courtroom comedy.
It also is quite funny to see that these decisions can be made as flippantly as this. If Feige had happened to miss that screening the suggestion for the title change may have never come up and the switch may have never been made.
But it was, and now She-Hulk: Attorney at Law can be streamed now on Disney+.