She-Hulk episode 9 was full of surprises; among them, the 70s homage at the beginning featured a man dressing up as the title character.
The opening credits scene for She-Hulk episode 9 featured a man dressed up as the female superhero. When She-Hulk: Attorney at Law first premiered in August 2022, it was immediately praised for its more comical short-form approach to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Tatiana Maslany’s portrayal of the titular heroine was praised for adding a new vantage point to the chaotic multimedia franchise. However, the series has also had its share of criticism, the most notable being the use of CGI on Maslany, with some finding it unpolished and slightly off-putting.
CGI has always been a sore point for Marvel, with critics and audiences feeling that they overly rely on the filmmaking tool too much. The majority of their films tend to build up to a climax that results in the villain unleashing a large weapon of some kind and the heroes having to stop them in a grand finale. To make things worse, Marvel’s CGI effects houses have had numerous complaints about the studio for its overly long work hours, unrealistic set goals, and terrible working conditions. While Marvel has made plans to fix these issues, there is still the lingering feeling of neglect that effect houses have when it comes to big-budget productions.
With so much CGI used in the series, Marvel took a unique approach to one specific effect in the last episode of She-Hulk. The episode begins with an homage to the 1978 television adaptation of The Incredible Hulk, but with Tatiana Maslany as Jen Walters in place of Bill Bixby as David Banner. When Jen hulks out in the intro, her She-Hulk transformation is portrayed by a live actor. Not only that, but the actor in question is a man named Devon Lewis, who took to TikTok to reveal his identity and some humorous behind-the-scenes images.
Could The She-Hulk Finale Be A Sign Of Marvel Embracing Practical Effects?
The She-Hulk episode opener surprised audiences, and it is undoubtedly even more surprising that a man portrayed the character for that brief scene. Even more interesting is that this is the second time Marvel has prioritized practical effects for one of its major projects. Werewolf By Night used an overabundance of practical effects, with Gael García Bernal dressed head-to-toe in makeup to pull off the iconic werewolf look. At the same time, Marvel constructed a giant Man-Thing head prop for scenes where the characters interact with the swamp creature.
Practical effects have been making a significant comeback in Hollywood, and it looks like Marvel is also jumping onto the bandwagon to bring them back. While they will continue to use CGI in future productions, Werewolf By Night and She-Hulk‘s practical effects show they are open to having both styles work hand-in-hand. While CGI can be a helpful tool and open the doors to bigger possibilities, it can also limit actors who feel detached from whatever they are acting against. Hopefully, Marvel will continue to push for more rubber and makeup and fewer 3D images on computers.
Source: Devon Lewis/TikTok