The plot of Jessica Gao’s Black Widow movie, which was rejected, has been made public. She-Hulk is the ninth series in the MCU and is based on the character of the same name appearing in Marvel Comics. The Disney+ original series centers on Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany), a superhuman cases specialist and Bruce Banner’s (Mark Ruffalo) cousin, whose life is made even more difficult when she transforms into the green superhero She-Hulk. She-Hulk is the final series of Phase Four of the MCU, and it will wrap up on October 13.
Phase Four began in July 2021, following many delays brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic, with the introduction of Black Widow. The movie, which takes place after the events of Captain America: Civil War and serves as a prequel to fill in the blanks in Natasha Romanoff’s MCU tale, follows Natasha as she flees while being forced to face her past. The majority of her background is focused on the household she was raised in before the Soviets abducted her and her sister and sent them to be trained as “Black Widow” assassins. Although a Black Widow movie has been in the works since 2004, things didn’t really get up until Scarlett Johansson was cast in the part for many MCU movies, starting with Iron Man 2. The solo movie was finally directed by Cate Shortland, although there were other variations prior to that, including one that She-Hulk creator Jessica Gao offered.
In a recent interview with The Wrap, Gao gave a brief summary of her take on the Black Widow movie. Gao compared the movie to a Grosse Pointe Blank tale in which Natasha must deal with the effects of her friends learning she was a young Russian spy put among them at a high school reunion. Below is the complete quote from Gao:
“It was basically a ‘Grosse Pointe Blank’ story for Black Widow. Basically, you find out that in high school, as a teenage spy/Russian agent, she was planted at an American high school, because she had to assassinate someone’s dad and then 20 years later, she goes back to the high school reunion and has to deal with the fallout of this fake identity where she betrayed all these people in high school.”
Gao suggested to Marvel more than one movie in addition to Black Widow. Additionally, she pitched her own adaptations of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings and Captain Marvel. Despite the failure of those plans, she finally received a pitch for She-Hulk: Attorney at Law. According to Gao, “every opportunity you miss is actually setting you up for something else,” specifically referencing her own experience, “I didn’t get any of those three Marvel movie jobs because it was building to this point,” she continued in the aforementioned interview.
Gao’s story and outlook show that her rejected pitches weren’t a waste of time, but rather a chance for reorientation. The average person would probably take rejection fairly hard and not want to keep trying again and again at the same place. Although the Black Widow movie’s plot sounds like it might have offered a fresh perspective on Natasha’s story, the MCU took a different turn. She-debut Hulk’s episode has just been premiered, but fortunately, Gao is off to a strong start with numerous reviewers complimenting She-Hulk for its charm and humor. Given Gao’s history of perseverance with Marvel and her current success with She-Hulk, it wouldn’t be shocking if she already had ideas for a fantastic MCU narrative that she could soon submit to the studio.