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MAN OF STEEL Writer Thinks She-Hulk is a Giant, Green Porn Star

Let’s put this under the heading “Terrible writer David S. Goyer continues to miss the point.”

Goyer, who wrote the screenplay for Man of Steel, joined the Scriptnotes podcast last night for their “The Summer Superhero Spectacular,” where he joined a panel including Andrea Berloff (King Conan), Christopher Markus and Stephen McFeely (Captain America: The Winter Soldier). You should give it a listen since Goyer’s comments about the character She-Hulk, as well as his oddball pitch for Martian Manhunter, land on what’s problematic about Goyer as a writer.

Let’s hit the first point: the man who famously created a Superman movie where Superman is a loner kleptomaniac murder-y Christ allegory and host Craig Manzin are a little suspicious about the origins of Marvel’s other Hulk. Their exchange is handily transcribed by The Mary Sue:

Craig Mazin: The real name for She-Hulk was Slut-Hulk. That was the whole point. Let’s just make this green chick with enormous boobs. And she’s Hulk strong but not Hulk massive, right? … She’s real lean, stringy…

David S. Goyer: She’s still pretty chunky. She was like Chyna from the WWE.

Mazin: The whole point of She-Hulk was just to appeal sexistly to ten-year-old boys. Worked on me.

Goyer: I have a theory about She-Hulk. Which was created by a man, right? And at the time in particular I think 95% of comic book readers were men and certainly almost all of the comic book writers were men. So the Hulk was this classic male power fantasy. It’s like, most of the people reading comic books were these people like me who were just these little kids getting the shit kicked out of them every day… And so then they created She-Hulk, right? Who was still smart… I think She-Hulk is the chick that you could fuck if you were Hulk, you know what I’m saying? … She-Hulk was the extension of the male power fantasy. So it’s like if I’m going to be this geek who becomes the Hulk then let’s create a giant green porn star that only the Hulk could fuck.

Devin at Badass Digest lays out one of the most intriguing aspects of She-Hulk, which is her open (and sometimes messy) sex and dating lives, aspects of the character which have made her forward-thinking and unique among the pantheon of sexualized yet sexless comic book characters.

We could easily chalk Goyer’s comments up to a lack of familiarity with the source material, but then, why say it? Having been at the superhero game for a few years now, and responsible, in part, for WB’s big push to bring the DC Universe to the big screen, I’m curious what Goyer looks for in a standout female character (something largely absent in his own filmography, save dark-core enthusiast, Abigail Whistler).

We go on from Goyer’s She-Hulk comments, which are largely body-shaming and kind of squeamish about female sexuality, to his thoughts on founding Justice League member Martian Manhunter which highlight some of his more… questionable storytelling tastes.

Sayeth Goyer:

He can’t be fucking called the Martian Manhunter because that’s goofy. He can be called Manhunter… The whole deal with Martian Manhunter is he’s an alien living amongst us… So he comes down to Earth and decides, unlike Superman who already exists in the world now, that he’s just going to be a homicide detective… So instead of using super-powers and mind-reading and like, oh, I could figure out if the President’s lying or whatever, he just decides to disguise himself as a human homicide detective. Dare to dream!

Goyer continues, explaining how he’d “fix” Manhunter for the big screen:

I would set it up like The Day After Tomorrow. We discover one of those Earth-like planets… So maybe like… we get the DNA code from that planet and then grow him in a petri dish here… He’s like in Area 51 or something and we’re just basically… doing biopsies on him. Then he gets out and he’s really angry and he fucks She-Hulk.

Again, the go-to nerd panic is to worry that he’s not familiar with any of the source material (hell, a cursory look at the character’s Wikipedia page debunks most of this), and with the She-Hulk line at the end, it’s clear he’s joking a little. But how hard is “psychic alien who decides to become a cop and fight evil” to translate? Goyer, who traffics in the kind of over-complicated storytelling that went through so many contortions to make the invasion of Earth by Zod Superman’s fault in Man of Steel has to add genetic engineering, conspiracy nonsense, and torture in order to make a story palatable for himself. It confuses complicated with complex and violent with mature.

I’d like to give Goyer the benefit of the doubt and say many of these were off-the-cuff comments during an otherwise fun podcast about working on tentpole movies, but it all fits as a piece with the rest of his work. How he plans to bring his unique storytelling sensibility to The Sandman movie remains to be seen.

HT: The Mary Sue

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Comments

  1. I really do hope that Goyer et al were just riffing around, like TS and Brodie in Mallrats. He’s already on shaky ground with a lot of fans; this could put him in the garbage bin, if this actually is taken out of context.

  2. Jug Report says:

    Thank you for including that full discussion – people seem to be ignoring Craig Mazin’s comments. I talk about it in this piece I wrote for my blog: http://wp.me/p3INSa-g1

  3. Andy says:

    Wow, what a jerk. How can he be so disrespectful to his own audience.

  4. Alex Harper says:

    To be fair, Marvel did publish ‘Wolverine – Old Man Logan’ – which did use the She-Hulk/Hulk/Cousins-sex thing as part of the plot…

  5. PaladinPool619 says:

    I’m getting very tired of Nerdist’s Man of Steel whiney fanboy rage. MoS was a beautiful, well done movie. So much better than the Nolan Dark Knight garbage that everyone seems to love.  
    And I agree with other commentators. I do not think Goyer was saying She-Hulk is a slut porn star. He was saying that is how the writers wrote her, which IMO is true. He was criticizing  the writers.  

  6. Susan Morton says:

    Remember self-aware Sensational She-Hulk?  She would have laughed at all this.

  7. Dev.C says:

    I really hate Goyer; I hate how he and Nolan ended Batman, I hate what he did to Di Vinci and the only saving grace to Man of Steel was Zack’s visuals. He has zero respect for most of the source material he picks up and is a negative for comic book movies. I going to be devastated if he ruins Sandman; what a douche!

  8. Aren’t the majority of female comic book characters sexualized anyways?? Hello, Captain Obvious here…..

  9. Grado says:

    Don’t ask me how I know … but Chyna played She Hulk in an “adult” movie.  And Thor could have sex with her as well. 

  10. Sigh, She-Hulk was created because the TV show was thinking about doing a female Hulk and Marvel didn’t want them to be able to sneak a character in there that they wouldn’t own… She was all about that. This guys an idiot.

  11. Ollie says:

    He seems to be joking.  I’m not defending the last superman movie, but he seems to be joking with close friends.  Taking it out of context and presenting it this way seems a bit wrong.

  12. dude duderson says:

    sounds like someone who is just joking around, and also pointing out the fact “back in the day” comics were VERY sexist, where as none of his creations are overtly sexist that I know of, he isn’t saying that’s how she-hulk was created and that’s how it should be, he is saying that’s what he thinks because of the bastard’s who wrote comics back in the day thought that way. people need to learn how to understand English and context.

  13. Corey says:

    Goyer hates green people!!!

  14. Ian Howlett says:

    I thought Nerdist was above this kind of sour nitpicking, with regards to the portrayal of Goyer. There are many interviews with Goyer out there to get a sense of who he is, using quotes from this podcast as some sort of indictment just shows poor character on the part of the author.

  15. Angel Rivers says:

    Don’t tell me this is the guy that’s gonna write a movie where Wonder Woman is gonna be in.

  16. David Goyer is obviously clueless about the very heroes hes supposedly writing about. Now remember this,he’s just the screen writer, not the producer, not the director and certainly doesn’t get final say on what gets on the silver screen.
    I have yet to hear anything 100% positive about the Man Of Steel from anyone. Get it straight Goyer Superman is NOT Batman. Hes is not a dark brooding loner character and if you believer that then you have either only read the New 52 (which sucks) or have never read any Superman comics in your lifetime.

    Good luck writing Batman VS Superman, The Justice League and Sandman. Considering how prized those characters and commodities are to millions, if you fuck any one of those up your career is over and you will be the most hated writer in Hollywood or anywhere else for that matter period.

    As for Martian Manhunter yes I know who he is and I am familiar with She hulk as well your portrayals of both character are completely wrong. I Get more than Goyer does any day!

    PS. Do you always write with your head up your ass, it must be why you have no clue as to what you’re writing about.

  17. Colossus Prime says:

    Let’s not forget the Green Arrow movie he wanted to make.  Basically a standard rehash of the Punisher, Batman, Daredevil story of him being in prison with a bunch of villains.

    So here’s the thing; he wanted to have 90% of the movie take place in prison where GA has to figure out who framed him.  Meaning for 90% of the movie he has nothing that makes him recognizable as Green Arrow.  Sure it’s a decent comic story, but that is absolutely stupid for a movie.

    Man do I dislike him.

  18. Bert says:

    Goyer has always been my concern about this DC venture of his, ultimately I am certain he and Snyder’s unexplainable level of loyalty to his writing is the reason Christopher Nolan tore up his 10 picture production and consultation deal with WB and DC after Man of Steel.  What has he done that’s been successful critically?  ……it’s ok I’ll wait.  What’s that?  Oh yeah……NOTHING. He has never directed or written anything critically successful aside from some contribution to Nolan’s Batman films (which we all know Nolan and his bro basically rewrote).  He’s an embarrassment as a director.  
    I don’t understand how this dude keeps getting these gigs.  It is his super lame tattoos that make him look like a nerby wanna be “bro”, or perhaps his week maintained child molester facial hair….?  It’s truly a mystery, cause it sure as shot isn’t his writing or directing.  He already has said he doesn’t give a shit about what fans want.   This is why DC keeps failing on the big screen.  Guys like Joel Silver and David Goyer.  

  19. You missed the best part! Goyer is the sort of guy who thinks if you’ve heard of Martian Manhunter, you’ve probably never had sex: “Goyer asked, “How many people in the audience have heard of Martian Manhunter?” After hearing some light applause and cheers, he added, “How many people that raised their hands have ever been laid?”
    Fuck that guy.

    • 60Hz says:

      This guy obviously looks down on his target audience and his source material. It’s a pretty disgusting read over all…

    • Jonwayne says:

      I plan on Boycotting any movie the man is associated with. I find that comment to be playing to a cultural stereo type that is as offensive as racism. he obviously has no respect for his target audience. it is the equivalent of a man making a movie about Martin Luther King Jr calling the people that would watch it a bunch of N(insert racial slur here) 

  20. sam says:

    i hate this guy. he ruined superman for me forever. and martian manhunter is one of my favorites. I don’t understand why someone who obviously is not familiar enough with DC comics becomes the writer for a DC movie !

    • DanceForCthulhu says:

      Someone unfamiliar with DC characters gets to write DC movies because Warner Bros are unfamiliar with DC characters, which they own, and is sad. This is why Marvel will always beat DC when it comes to movie adaptations (and everything else actually) DC is to Marvel as WWE is to UFC.

    • dude duderson says:

      wow you seriously let someone else ruin something forever for you, so you give him ultimate power to ruin anything related to superman for you cause he wrote ONE movie so far? amazing…

  21. Pacopoolio says:

    What’s wrong with this writer’s reading comprehension?

    Goyer CLEARLY says She Hulk was probably created as a male-sex-fantasy initially, similar to how Chyna was fetish material in the WWE. How can the writer of this piece POSSIBLY interpret that as he did? That’s so ridiculous that this -has- to be satire making fun of people not getting things just because they assume a negative and going off on a tirade, right? 

    • Yeah, Goyer isn’t saying She-Hulk SHOULD be that way. He doesn’t seem to be condoning it. He’s just pointing out the inherent oversexualization of all female superheroes. They draw them with big boobs because teenage boys are horny.

  22. Chris Marks says:

    While I don’t like his comments, saying he’s a terrible writer is just an opinion.  I loved Man Of Steel along with many others, so I think he did a wonderful job there.  Also, the Dark Knight Trilogy was great as well, so in my opinion, he can write really good movies.  Not everything he’s done id good, but lately he has not been doing too bad at all.

  23. Josh says:

    He’s not the first one to look at She-Hulk like that.  John Byrne’s series played the kinkier aspects of her origin up for laughs in his series.  That doesn’t make her any less valid of a character and I can see how a superhero who embraces the brighter side of being a superhero might be lost on the writer of Man of Steel.

    • Lando says:

      John Byrne also treated She-Hulk as a woman who enjoyed being a super-hero. Crap like what he said tho really makes me feel concern on what he thinks Wonder Woman should be.

  24. Andrew says:

    David Goyer is becoming the new Brett Ratner.

  25. BongSabre says:

    David S. Goyer took a character, known throughout the world for his absolute refusal to kill, and had him collectively lay waste to thousands of people in a fight all because he thinks that respect for life goes out the window when you can break planets.

    • BongSabreSux says:

      Superman has killed even before MOS

    • Pacopoolio says:

      No, Goyer took a character that killed Zod in the comics and the theatrical cut of Superman 2, and had him kill Zod in his movie as well. 

      Superman didn’t kill a single person in the Zod fight. Did you watch the movie? The only thing Superman did, himself, was run Zod along the outside of a building. Zod did everything else. 

      • Ian says:

        Superman killed a pocket universe Zod ONE TIME. That’s one murder in 75 years of storytelling. To make that one instance be the defining trait of the character is kinda sickening.

        • Ian Howlett says:

          At what point was murder a defining trait of Superman in MoS? 
          I didn’t love everything about the movie, but the only ‘defining’ aspect of killing Zod ONE TIME was that he didn’t want to, and it otherwise solidified his ‘no killing’ stance afterwards.

  26. Nick says:

    Wow. so he’s a hack AND a sexist?

    no surprise there.

    • dude duderson says:

      where in any of what he said transcribed here says that’s how HE feels? he said that’s what he thinks PROBABLY happened, and then explains it by saying everyone was male, and then they decide to make a green woman with huge boobs… yeah, wonder what those comic guys were thinking…. now sure writers since have written her as intelligent and independent, but that doesn’t change how she may have been created. he never says it is fact or is sexist about it. the second quote of the article is clearly a call-back joke about she-hulk and not a “this is what I really think” statement…