Jessica Jones’ Marvel Comics History Provides An Exciting Story For Netflix’s …

20 Nov 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

‘Jessica Jones’ Boss on Casting Krysten Ritter, Luke Cage Overlap and ‘Defenders’ Crossovers.

Starting at midnight on Friday morning, Netflix will be releasing its second TV series set in the same Marvel universe occupied by the “Avengers” films, a show titled, simply, “.” There’s a lot of anticipation around the show, which follows the acclaimed series “Daredevil,” which is also set in Hell’s Kitchen in New York City and, like “Jessica Jones,” tells a smaller, more localized superhero story.The title character of Netflix’s latest, which begins streaming on Friday, mines elements from the Marvel Comics superhero’s backstory to create a protagonist who’s wounded — but not defeated — and above all, genuine.They say good things come to those who wait… and while there’s still a few hours to go until Marvel’s Jessica Jones officially hits Netflix, fans can now watch the series’ opening titles. The show is already getting great reviews, and it’s no surprise, as the comic series it’s based on, titled “Alias,” is one of the most fascinating–though, fair warning, heartbreaking–superhero stories you’ll ever read. (Spoiler warning from here on out.) When we first meet Jessica, she’s a hard-drinking, clearly depressed private investigator who technically has superpowers–she is super-strong and can fly, sort of–but they are underwhelming in a world that has Captain America and Thor in it.

Released via Twitter with the tease, “A little something to get you through the next twelve hours,” the stylized opening showcases the show’s darker vibe while paying homage to its comic book counterpart. With Jessica Jones, showrunner Melissa Rosenberg is building a series around a character who only debuted in 2001, a former superhero turned private investigator. In comic books, he is also known as “Power Man.” “Mike effortlessly brought that powerful physicality, but, crucially, was able to show the vulnerability beneath,” said S.J. Krysten Ritter stars as the titular hero, along with Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth, Mike Colter as Luke Cage, Rachael Taylor as Trish Walker, and David Tennant as Kilgrave (a.k.a.

The character, sarcastic, self-lacerating and powerful, is played by Krysten Ritter, an actress who, while familiar from many beloved TV shows including Breaking Bad and Veronica Mars, has never carried a show this big before. The New York City-based hero earns her living as a private investigator, which gives the show its engrossing noir vibe, along with Jessica’s deadpan — occasionally corny — narration, which is delivered sporadically throughout each episode. As a gumshoe, Jessica often calls on her heightened abilities to jump, scale, run, intimidate or beat up people twice her size, but she also makes inquiring phone calls and rifles through trash cans.

Eventually, toward the end of the comic run, we find out what happened: She was kidnapped by a super-villain called the Purple Man (to be played by David Tennant), who has the power to force anyone to do whatever he wants simply by telling them to. Colter doesn’t have time to savor the glow from the new show, though, because now it is his turn to be the star. “Luke Cage,” the next Marvel production for Netflix, is currently being filmed on the streets of New York. There’s the metaphor of The Other, which was a fun story to tell, but by the time we got up to Netflix, the Marvel Cinematic Universe was a slightly different mythology so I really had to move away from that storytelling.

As with most comic book adaptations, there will inevitably be a debate about how closely the show follows its source material — a debate for which I’m woefully underqualified and which shouldn’t have any bearing on its merits as a television show. So many pop culture portrayals of domestic violence, afraid of losing audience sympathy for the victim, leave out the emotional reasons that victims stay: They are in love, their abuser is playing mind games with them, they have bought into the abuser’s claim that no one else cares about them, they fear being alone forever if they leave. Jessica was previously under the control of a lively-but-diabolical villain named Kilgrave (David Tennant), who possesses the ability to bend others, even superheroes, to his will. From your point of view, how do you feel about the different levels of control that you get to have over the storytelling under those two circumstances?

Jessica met Kilgrave just as she was embracing the idea of trading in a string of dead-end jobs for what she does best: using her powers to help people. They went into it eyes wide open and completely embraced it, as did Netflix. … That surprised me just that Marvel honestly really just supported my vision and contributed to it, really. I don’t have any hair, which, luckily, means I don’t have to spend as much time in the [stylist’s] chair, but sometimes there are prosthetics and wigs, things like that. What were the conversations that you had to have regarding how this fits into this whole four-series deal and then The Defenders package deal that this was always developed as? This isn’t a case where sexual violence is a cheap ploy to get a rise out of a presumed male audience, and inflicted on a cardboard character who exists only to be a victim.

Luke and Jessica have an instant connection and chemistry, which they explore in ways you’d expect warm-blooded, adult superheroes to do. “Adult” is an important word here — in many ways, “Jessica Jones” stands in stark contrast to CBS’s “Supergirl,” which stars Melissa Benoist as a plucky millennial who decides to embrace the powers she has shrugged off for years. That is not to diminish either series — both have woven smart and thoughtful feminism into their respective narratives. “Jessica Jones” deals with heavier topics — rape and drug addiction, among them — and does this without sweeping speeches or grand statements. It’s a refreshing antidote to television’s overabundance of self-important monologues. “I’m not hiding, but I’m not advertising,” Jessica tells Luke when they compare notes on superhuman strength.

Jeph Loeb kept us honest because he was the keeper of the universe, in a way, and said, “Well, you’re treading on territory that Daredevil’s going down,” or, “That’s kind of breaking some of the rules of the universe.” Cheo [Hodari Coker], who’s the showrunner of Luke Cage, I don’t think he saw anything of my series before he started. And, of course, the first time Jessica reaches out to the outside world and tries to escape her captor, she is blamed and abused by people she thought were her friends, even though none of this is her fault. The story is infused with feminist themes of sisterhood and survival, lifting it about the routine use of women as two-dimensional victims, often existing only to advance a male character’s development.

Jeph Loeb said, “Well, you know, he does kind of have his own series so the origin story is the stuff of his series.” There’s so much that you can’t know. Marvel swoops in, crying, and rescues her friend, a moving metaphor for the power of believing a victim, even when everyone else would rather blame and attack her.

It’s a deeply human story, understanding that surviving is not easy and it is often not pretty, but that someone who makes it to the other side still has much to be proud of. But with a strong cast, powerful source material, and the success of Netflix’s first go-round in this territory, “Daredevil,” there’s every reason to expect great things from “Jessica Jones.” Because Daredevil obviously had this very intimate hand-to-hand, visceral kind of action and Jessica can’t do that because if she starts doing that to people she punches them across the street.

I’m a pretty out and proud feminist, so that’s always very forefront in my consciousness, but really the focus in writing her and breaking story with the other writers, the focus was just on doing a fascinating character. When you’re writing a white male, you don’t approach it as, “Well, what would this white male do?” You just approach it as a character, and I find so many times when people are writing either a female character or a person of color, the character gets limited to that one aspect of who they are and I think that’s part of why we see so few of them on our screens. I was just wondering because there were different points where I was thinking, “Okay, she’s kind of being the Humphrey Bogart character here,” or something to that effect, and that wasn’t an approach you were taking.

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