This week the fearless Geek Girl site The Mary Sue broke a story that has a lot of fans wanting to yell "HULK SMASH!" On one level it's just a guy you might never have heard of insulting a character you might never have heard of. But on another level it has ramifications on what you're going to be seeing in movie theaters next summer.
A podcast called Scriptnotes was interviewing a panel of screenwriters who were responsible for some of the biggest recent and upcoming comic book movies before a live audience. Naturally, the topic of discussion centered on upcoming projects with the panelists giving enough information to tease the audience without giving too much away. At one point, the interviewers randomly threw out some comic book characters to each panelist and asked how they would approach developing that character for the screen.
WARNING for those with sensitive dispositions: vulgar language and really stupid comments ahead:
Here is what writer David S. Goyer had to say:
Craig Mazin: The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. That was the whole point. Let’s just make this green chick with enormous boobs. And she’s Hulk strong but not Hulk massive, right? … She’s real lean, stringy…Okay, so who is She-Hulk really? Well, for starters, she's the Hulk's cousin, fer pity's sake. She was created during the '70s when Marvel was trying to create more female characters. It's also been said that Marvel Corporate wanted a distaff version of Hulk because they were afraid that if the popular TV series based on the comic created such a character first, Marvel wouldn't hold the rights to her.
David S. Goyer: She’s still pretty chunky. She was like Chyna from the WWE.
Mazin: The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.
Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.
Jennifer Walters needed a massive blood transfusion and because of her rare blood type, the only person readily available to donate was her cousin Bruce Banner; and as a result she gained his Hulk-like strength and pigmentation. In her earliest appearances she was angry and her comic was titled SAVAGE SHE-HULK, but her temperament soon mellowed from Angry Feminist to Assertive Feminist and she developed her own personality distinct from the Hulk's.
During the 1980s, writer and artist John Byrne made her a supporting character in the FANTASTIC FOUR, and after leaving that book created a new title for her, SENSATIONAL SHE-HULK. Byrne's She-Hulk was less angry than the savage 70s version; she was good-natured with a joy of life and a sense of fun. Unlike her cousin Bruce, who considers the Hulk to be a curse, Jennifer enjoys being She-Hulk. More recently, writer Dan Slott has written a SHE-HULK series focusing on her other job; when She-Hulk is not working with the Avengers, she has a day job as an attorney, often involved in super-related cases.
Now, granted, She-Hulk is sometimes portrayed as a wild and uninhibited party-girl, so perhaps there's a little truth to Goyer's superficial dismissal of the character; but he hardly does her justice; and there are female super-heroes who dress far sluttier than she does, (I'm looking at you, Power Girl!)
But who is David Goyer that we should care if he doesn't know his comic book heroines? He wrote the screenplay for Batman Begins and worked on the other films in the Christopher Nolan Batman series. He also wrote the screenplay for Man of Steel, the movie that made Superman dark and edgy, and will be writing the upcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and the long awaited Justice League movie. He's considered a Hot Screenwriter, and the cinematic version of the DC Universe has been put in his hands.
It's rumored that BvS is going to include Wonder Woman, something a lot of fans have been clamoring for. (Warner Bros. keeps insisting that moviegoers won't be interested in a film with a female lead). But given that he likes making things dark and edgy, and given the attitude he shows towards female characters in this week's interview, I have to wonder if this will be a good thing.