Jessica Gao has officially joined the Marvel fold as the head writer on She-Hulk: Attorney at Law, but it seems it’s not the first time she’s tried getting in the door. During a recent interview with The Wrap, the former Rick & Morty creative revealed her first pitch to Marvel Studios was actually for the Black Widow movie. Of course, Gao didn’t end up getting the job, but if she had, it seems the film would have played out dramatically different than what audiences actually saw. According to Gao, her pitch revolves around Scarlett Johansson’s Natasha Romanoff having to attend a high-stakes high school reunion with people who knew her as someone else. She elaborated:
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.Jessica Gao
The pitch feels more like a She-Hulk story than it does a Black Widow one, and Gao believes that’s exactly why she eventually got the gig she did. The writer says she also pitched concepts for Shang-Chi and Captain Marvel, and while none of those worked out, they did allow her to spend some quality time with Marvel big wigs like Kevin Feige. She explained:
I’m a big believer that every opportunity you miss is actually setting you up for something else… I truly believe that I didn’t get any of those three Marvel movie jobs because it was building to this point. Because what it really did for me is every single time that I pitched to Kevin [Feige], and Lou [D’Esposito] and Victoria [Alonso], and Brad [Winterbaum], I get to spend an hour with him, and I get to shoot the shit and hang out and chat…Jessica Gao
Hanging out with important people can sometimes have good side effects, as Gao continued:
Each time, they got to know me more, I got to know them more. By the time I came into pitch ‘She-Hulk,’ I think they had a very good sense of what my sense of humor was. They had a good sense of what type of writer I was, what kind of story I built. They just had a very good indication of what I’m about. I think that that really helped sell it, because they weren’t coming into me cold. They already talked to me so many times, they understood the quirks and nuances and the little things that I really infuse into everything.Jessica Gao
While that Black Widow film would never be, it’s good to see that Marvel kept giving a talent like Gao the opportunity to pitch and collaborate. She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is now streaming on Disney+, and while it has yet to feature a high school reunion, it does have a lot of Gao’s signature sense of humor.
Source: The Direct