Did Marvel Restrict She-Hulk's Muscles? MCU Director Responds

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Posted:
She Hulk muscles

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will introduce a new hero into the Marvel Cinematic Universe by adding Tatiana Maslany's Jennifer Walters into the fold. The upcoming MCU series is set to explore the titular heroine's origin story, her dynamic with her cousin, Bruce Banner, and how she manages to balance her duties as an attorney alongside becoming a superhero. 

Marketing for She-Hulk also revealed that Jennifer Walters' dating life will take the spotlight. Official footage from the series unveiled that Walters in her She-Hulk form is still dating, meaning that the show is poised to tackle her heartbreaks and triumphs in her relationships. 

While some have criticized the show's CGI, another aspect that kept fans talking about the series is the fact that the character has a less muscular build than that of the Hulk. Following criticism from a fan about this issue, VFX artist Sean Ruecroft previously revealed that the MCU character had a more muscular build earlier in the process, but Marvel Studios told them to "make her smaller" multiple times in the process. 

Now, the show's director explained this design choice in a new interview. 

Marvel Director Explains She-Hulk's Muscle Design

She Hulk Marvel Studios

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law director Kat Coiro sat down with Entertainment Weekly to talk about the titular heroine's appearance in the upcoming MCU series. 

When asked if the rumors that Marvel requested She-Hulk's muscles be made smaller are true, Coiro compared the new MCU hero to Hulk, saying that it's important to them that Jennifer Walters "still operated on a human scale:" 

"A lot of what I was just talking about was a big part of the process of building She-Hulk’s look. The Hulk is not human proportions. He’s not human scale. He is a monster in that way. And it was really important for us that she still operated on a human scale. It was never about, 'Make her smaller,' it was about, 'How can she fit into the world and work in an office and go to a restaurant and walk down the street and still draw attention but still be within the realm of being a human?”

Coiro continued by saying that the creative team talked about "strength more than aesthetics," sharing that Olympians served as a reference for She-Hulk's muscular design: 

"We honestly talked about strength more than aesthetics. We studied musculature and we studied women athletes who were incredibly strong. We really leaned towards Olympians rather than bodybuilders. That’s where a lot of our body references came from, very strong Olympic athletes. So she doesn’t have a bodybuilder’s physique, but she absolutely has a very strong physique that can justify the actions that she does in the show. I think people expected a bodybuilder and for her to have these big, massive muscles but she looks more like Olympians."

One of the storylines introduced in She-Hulk's trailers is Jennifer Walters' dating life. Coiro said that this aspect is part of the goal of She-Hulk still trying to "fit into the regular society:" 

"In the building of She-Hulk herself, in the concept of her body and her size, part of the discussion was about we want her to be this large, six-foot-seven green woman, but we also want her to fit into regular society and be able to go on a date in a restaurant with a guy."

The Marry Me filmmaker also shared that Walters' "dating life is definitely complicated by being a superhero, but it's also very grounded in reality:"

"She’s an interesting superhero where she is large and she is green, but there are women who are six-foot-seven. We had one on set who was our reference and body double. She’s still within the realm of reality, so her dating life is definitely complicated by being a superhero, but it’s also very grounded in reality. That was always what we wanted: what does it mean to be a six-foot-seven green woman in your 30's, dating in Los Angeles?"

Coiro ended by sharing that the show's core is exploring what it means for a woman to balance her newfound superhero duties and her day-to-day life: 

"It’s very relatable, whether you’re six-foot-seven or green or just a woman, and that’s what we kept coming back to. How do we tell a story that any woman who’s ever gone on a date will relate to in some way or another? And that’s just one facet of how this show is different from the other Marvel shows, we get to see behind the scenes of the life of a superhero. How does she dress? How does she go on a date? What’s her apartment like? We really delve into the everyday life of a superhero."

Explaining She-Hulk's Unique Strength

Director Kat Coiro's reasoning behind She-Hulk's appearance makes sense since it allows the character to stand apart from Hulk while still keeping the same qualities that the original Avenger had, such as his strength. In the MCU, it wouldn't be too daunting to see a six-foot-seven green woman in the city, and this could be the reason why men are still trying to pursue a date with her. 

It's possible that the series will first show Jennifer Walters' dating life before she becomes She-Hulk. Doing this allows viewers to see how the character's dating life slowly improves, considering that the trailers reveal several men who appear to be dating the Marvel hero. 

The fact that Coiro and her team used Olympians as a reference to the character's physique also means that She-Hulk will have a unique portrayal in action scenes.

Maslany also teased that Walters is not really aware of her "extreme strength," saying that “she’s not a trained fighter” and “she could just flick someone, and they’d go flying." At some point in the series, there's a chance that She-Hulk will realize when to hold back and when to fully unleash her powers, and Bruce Banner could be the key to showing the character how it's done. 

All in all, it seems that the dilemma for Walters in the series is how to fit into regular society first before eventually trying to find a place among the ranks of Earth's Mightiest Heroes down the line

She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is set to premiere on Disney+ on Wednesday, August 17. 

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.