The cast and crew of She-Hulk: Attorney at Law defend their work against the early criticisms of its CGI.
The reactions when the She-Hulk: Attorney at Law trailer dropped were mixed, to say the least. While many of us were excited to see the legendary superhero finally make her on-screen debut, the rough CGI rendering and character design of Jennifer Walters’ (Tatiana Maslany) green alter-ego became a hot topic of discussion.
It’s been a rough few weeks for Marvel. Many previous and current VFX artists have spoken out against Marvel’s “bullying-power” over the VFX houses, which have left these effect houses feeling overwhelmed with demands made on an already tight schedule. These work conditions have resulted in effects that break the visual language of the film or series.
She-Hulk: Attorney at Law on the VFX Problems
The Hollywood Reporter covered the responses that the show's writer Jessica Gao, director Kat Coiro, and actor Tatiana Maslany had at the Television Critics Association's press tour panel.
“This is a massive undertaking to have a show where the main character is CG,” Gao said. “It’s terrible that a lot of artists feel rushed and feel that the workload is too massive. I think everybody on this panel stands in solidarity with all workers.”
Maslany shared her thoughts on the issue, saying, “Obviously, [they have to work] much quicker than probably should be given to them in terms of churning these things out. We have to like be super conscious of the work conditions which aren’t always optimal.”
Coiro adds that the She-Hulk team will listen to the VFX artists with the hopes of creating visually stunning work that reflects the work environment of the effect house.
She-Hulk's Character Design
As for the character design of She-Hulk, Coiro responds to those who have complained about the ritual character not being bulkier.
“In terms of the CGI being critiqued, I think that has to do with our culture’s belief in its ownership of women’s bodies. I think a lot of critiques come from feeling like they’re able to tear apart the CGI woman.”
She-Hulk’s design was based on Olympian athletes and “not bodybuilders.”
In a now-deleted tweet shared by the Gamer, VFX artist Sean Ruecroft wrote, "I was at a company that did VFX for this. Apparently, she was bigger early on, but the notes kept saying to 'make her smaller. We always roll our eyes (like we did on Sonic) but at the end of the day artists gotta follow orders."
A great point of reference for She-Hulk would have been the women from the tv show American Gladiators, which showcased women who were absolutely ripped while still having aspects of traditional femininity. While the Hulk gets to be a muscular superhero genius, She-Hulk gets to be a slightly toned, pea-green lady of the law.
Maybe changes will be made to the character’s design in the future. Until then, we will enjoy watching this highly skilled lawyer navigate her life with her new superhero abilities.
She-Hulk premieres Aug. 17 on Disney+.