She-Hulk Head Writer Jessica Gao Was Rejected By Marvel On Three Other Projects

"She-Hulk" premieres on Disney+ on August 18, and Marvel fans might be happy to learn that the show's head writer, Jessica Gao, is a big fan of the source material. At a recent press event attended by fellow /Film writer Valerie Ettenhofer, Gao was asked what drew her to the project in the first place. "For me foundationally, first and foremost was the fourth wall breaking, and the meta humor, and the self-awareness," she said. "It was the John Byrne run that made me fall in love with this character. It was so lighthearted and fun, and refreshing."

Gao being hired for this project was made more exciting for her because this is not the first Marvel project she's applied for. When asked how she felt when she got the job, she explained, "I was elated because it was a dream job, but also I'd been rejected by Marvel three times for previous projects, so I was like, 'I guess fourth time's the charm!'" There's no ill will between her and Marvel over this, however, as she and the other writers agree she was a great fit for this show specifically. "It was the right project," Gao concluded. "I'm glad they rejected me so many times."

Gao's career as a comedy writer

Jessica Gao has previously written on shows like "Rick and Morty," "Silicon Valley," and "Robot Chicken." She specializes in writing comedy, which makes her a good fit for "She-Hulk" in particular. Marvel has never shied away from including humor in its movies and shows — for better and for worse – but they've never done a full-on sitcom before. "She-Hulk" is described by Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige as a "half-hour legal comedy," making it unlike any of the other Disney+ series so far. Even "WandaVision," which centered most of the show around a sitcom formula, was a drama first and foremost. 

"Because I come from TV comedy," Gao said at the press event, "the comedy was a priority." 

She never revealed which previous Marvel projects she was rejected by, but the fact that they picked her for this one is a good sign that Marvel's got their priorities straight. "She-Hulk" is expected to be a fresh, smart, light-hearted show that features appearances from plenty of other beloved Marvel heroes. It's a show where the main character can break the fourth wall, something Gao would've had plenty of experience with on the constantly meta "Rick and Morty." As we wait this final week for "She-Hulk" to premiere, we can at least trust that the show is run by someone who seems perfect for the role.