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'She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law' creatives address CG criticism, VFX industry pushback toward Marvel
"There's a lot of talk about her body type."
It's already well-known that Marvel Studio's next Disney+ streaming series, She-Hulk: Attorney-at-Law, will have more CG than usual because the She-Hulk side of Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) is being achieved through a mo-cap performance by the actress. From the very first teaser trailer, viewers had a lot to say about the quality of the VFX and the different look of She-Hulk in comparison to Mark Ruffalo's Bruce Banner/Hulk in the MCU. At today's Disney+ Television Critics' Association press day attended by SYFY WIRE, the female creative executive producers -- Maslany, head writer Jessica Gao, and director Kat Coiro -- addressed the issues regarding the feedback, as well as the growing vocal pushback from VFX artists about the inhumane hours and turnaround times relegated by major studios including Marvel Studios.
About the criticism levied about She-Hulk's physique and softer facial CG, Coiro said candidly, "I think that has to do with our culture's belief in their ownership of women's bodies. I think a lot of the critique comes from feeling like they're able to tear apart this CGI woman. There's a lot of talk about her body type. We based her a lot on Olympian athletes, not bodybuilders. But I think if we'd gone the other way, we would be facing the same critique. I think it's very hard to win when you make womens' bodies."
Maslany concurred, adding, "The sort of duality of her two bodies I find so compelling. What is it to walk into a room as a six foot, seven inch woman? And what is it to walk into a room as a five foot two woman? It's so rife. And because our culture is so fixated on on women's bodies, whether it's aesthetically or politically or in terms of rights or in terms of autonomy, I think what we do in this show is is touch on all of these concepts."
As to the overall issues regarding the demanding turnaround times for CG needed to make their show complete, Maslany expressed immediate solidarity with the artists. "I feel incredibly deferential to how talented these artists are, and how quickly they have to work. Obviously, much quicker than probably should be given to them in terms of churning these things out."
She continued, "I know that there's a lot of eyes on the CG and a lot of critique. But I do think that we have to be super conscious of how the work conditions aren't always optimal. They've made these amazing strides in this industry, in this tech, where I watch it and I see thoughts as opposed to a cutscene from a video game. I can see the person's thoughts, or I can see the character's thoughts. I feel very in awe of what they do and very grateful that we are at the point where we get to work with these amazing artists."
Gao added, "It's just a massive undertaking to have a show of this scale, where the main character is CG. It's a very overwhelming and ginormous thing to take on. It's terrible that a lot of artists feel rushed, and feel that the the workload is too massive. I think everybody on this panel stands in solidarity with all workers and are very pro working conditions."
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law will premiere Aug. 18 on Disney+.
Looking for more sci-fi adventure in the meantime? Check out Battlestar Galactica, Heroes, Warehouse 13, Eureka, SYFY's Resident Alien, Sliders, Intergalactic and more on Peacock now.