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She-Hulk writers wanted Spider-Man in the TV show – here’s why they couldn’t get him

Updated Sep 14th, 2022 10:50AM EDT
Hulk (Mark Ruffalo) and She-Hulk (Tatiana Maslany) having a drink.
Image: Marvel Studios

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She-Hulk: Attorney at Law is less than a week away, with Marvel now in its final marketing push ahead of the show’s Disney Plus debut. Aside from adding a new Hulk to the MCU and an important Marvel superhero, She-Hulk will also contain several exciting cameos from the larger universe. But Spider-Man (Tom Holland) won’t be part of the She-Hulk story.

It’s not that we expected Spider-Man to appear in any MCU TV shows, for that matter. But it turns out that the She-Hulk writers pushed for this unlikely MCU cameo. And Marvel denied their request. Mind you, some spoilers follow below.

She-Hulk’s big cameo surprises

Jennifer Walters (Tatiana Maslany) is a lawyer for people with superpowers. We know that much from the trailers and TV spots. At least one Avenger will need She-Hulk’s services, and it’s not Spider-Man. Peter Parker’s legal issues were resolved in No Way Home. Then again, we’re assuming She-Hulk takes place after No Way Home, which is yet to be determined.

Getting back to the Avengers, we’ll have at least a couple of them in She-Hulk. Wong (Benedict Wong) will portal into Walters’ office to ask for her legal assistance. That’s after she becomes She-Hulk. And then there’s Hulk (Mark Ruffalo), her cousin and trainer.

Daredevil (Charlie Cox) appears in his new yellow suit in She-Hulk promo.
Daredevil (Charlie Cox) appears in his new yellow suit in She-Hulk promo. Image source: Marvel Studios

On top of that, there will be a Daredevil (Charlie Cox) cameo in She-Hulk. He’s not an Avenger yet, but he’s also a beloved Marvel superhero that will appear in the TV show.

Finally, there’s at least one excellent villain cameo in the show, Tim Roth’s Abomination, whom we last saw fighting Wong in Shang-Chi.

Marvel’s mysterious plans

It turns out that the She-Hulk writers wanted various MCU characters in the show, but Marvel refused their requests.

“There were a lot of characters from the comics – we wanted a lot of the comics for characters for fun situations where we could bring in like a character and think of like funny reasons why they would be in legal trouble,” creator and head writer Jessica Gao told The Direct.

Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending scene
Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Spider-Man: No Way Home ending scene. Image source: Sony

“But there were a lot of characters that were from the comics that we couldn’t use either because of a rights issue, or there were a few times where it was because Marvel… all they would say is that they had other plans. And that’s all they would tell us. And then, we tried very, very hard to poke and prod and get a little bit more information. Of course, they wouldn’t tell us.”

That’s when she revealed that many She-Hulk writers are also big Spider-Man fans.

“But I will say, the one MCU character that really bummed out a lot of the writers in our room that we couldn’t use was Spider-Man and anyone involved around – like in the Spider-Man universe,” Gao continued. “Because we had so many Spider-Man fans in the room.”

Why Spider-Man can’t be in She-Hulk

The reason why Marvel can’t just use Spider-Man whenever it wants is quite simple. Sony owns the rights to all those characters. It’s up to Sony to let Spider-Man play in the MCU. And we know the current Sony-Disney deal involves two joint Spider-Man projects. One is No Way Home. The other is undisclosed. But whatever it is, it must be a big MCU crossover rather than a She-Hulk episode.

Even without Spider-Man, She-Hulk should be plenty of fun. Just watch the latest featurette for the show, and you’ll understand why.

More Marvel coverage: For more MCU news, visit our Marvel guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.