Disney+ and Marvel’s upcoming She-Hulk series may take a cinematic device pioneered by another successful comic book franchise, Deadpool, when it debuts on the streaming platform. According to a report from The Direct, Marvel plans to bring some of that tongue-in-cheek, Deadpool-style fourth wall breaking to the ten-episode run of She-Hulk.
The She-Hulk comic books often employed a gimmick in which the character broke the fourth wall, often smashing her way through her own comic panels and having arguments with her very own writers. If that sounds familiar, it’s because that’s almost exactly what made Ryan Reynolds’ two-movie run as Wade Wilson (also known as Deadpool) such a fun and wild ride for audiences.
While this latest news may sound like less of an homage to Deadpool and more of a blatant ripoff, the outlet notes that Deadpool didn’t start breaking the fourth wall until 1997, nearly a decade after She-Hulk first began winking at her own audience from the page. Therefore, there’s precedent for the character to be aware she’s on a TV show, and the outlet reports that’s exactly the direction Marvel plans to go.
She-Hulk will star Orphan Black actress Tatiana Maslany, as the title hero, also known as Jennifer Walters. In the comic books, she is the cousin of Bruce Banner, played by Mark Ruffalo in the Marvel Cinematic Universe who will reprise his role for the series. When a blood transfusion gives her a lighter version of her cousin’s powers, Walters spends her days acting as an attorney for superheroes and her nights smashing criminals that the legal system lets slip through the cracks.
Unfortunately, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has revealed precious little about the upcoming project, instead focusing on getting audiences on board with shows like WandaVision, Falcon and the Winter Soldier, and Loki. However, given rumors that Maslany’s She-Hulk will cross paths with real-life celebrities such as Megan Thee Stallion, it would offer a lot of opportunity for comedy should she be able to turn to the camera and note how improbable it is for her to be standing with a real-world star.
The only thing that may stand in the way of Marvel making She-Hulk a fourth-wall-breaking series is simply the fact that Deadpool already exists and is more widely known to be the character to do that.
Since the purchase of 20th Century Fox, which previously played home to the Merc with a Mouth, by Disney, both Feige and Reynolds have been teasing his introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe as its first R-Rated superhero. On the one hand, it may seem overstuffed to have two characters that are capable of breaking the fourth wall without any in-universe explanation. On the other hand, it could be immensely fun for She-Hulk viewers to see two characters share the screen who are capable of recognizing their own status as works of fiction.
In short, Marvel could honestly justify going either way with She-Hulk.
However, the clock is ticking for She-Hulk as rumors indicate that Deadpool may bring his fourth-wall-breaking antics to the Marvel Cinematic Universe as early as Spiderman: No Way Home, which is scheduled to come out this year while She-Hulk doesn’t yet have a release date. It’s possible fans will get their fill of a character that quips to the camera before Walters ever graces TV screens.