There are potential spoilers below! Tread carefully!
We’re less than twenty-four hours away from the official release of Netflix’s second Marvel series, Jessica Jones, and with that, we’re beginning to learn a bit more about the show – as well as a possible second season – as the cast interviews from the premiere two days ago begin to hit the web. Just yesterday, we posted bits from an interview with stars Krysten Ritter (Jessica Jones) and Mike Colter (Luke Cage) from the show’s premiere, in which Ritter and Colter teased what makes the show so interesting as well as their stunt work for the series. And while it’s great to see their enthusiasm for the show, it’s nothing compared to that of showrunner Melissa Rosenberg who has been trying to bring Jessica Jones to life for quite some time now.
Long before Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. was even a thought, Rosenberg was working with ABC to bring Jessica Jones to life on the network – at the time, the series was still being developed as A.K.A. Jessica Jones, a title that the Netflix series also shared until earlier this year. It was one of several programs being developed for ABC, including a Cloak & Dagger series and a possible Hulk series, but it was easily the darkest of the bunch. So it wasn’t that surprising when the series didn’t move forward at the network. (Then again, none of them did.) But Rosenberg never gave up. So when it was announced that Jessica Jones would be one of four Defenders brought to life with a Netflix series, it wasn’t too surprising to hear that Rosenberg would remain on as the showrunner.
During a recent interview with Deadline, Rosenberg, who finally gets to see her passion project come to life with tomorrow’s launch on Netflix, talked about the direction of Jessica Jones, the possibility of a second season, as well as any clues regarding the upcoming The Defenders mini-series on Netflix.
DEADLINE: If Daredevil was the darkest thing we’d seen from Marvel so far, Marvel’s Jessica Jones can be really dark, not just in tone but in confronting issues like sexual assault and drug addiction. Why is this the direction for Marvel on Netflix?
ROSENBERG: Well, the comic book was the first comic book Marvel had ever put out that was an adult R-rated book, so I started with that. When I was creating the series, I just started with that tone, and that edge, and it just kept going.
We’re also are obviously very aware this is the first female superhero Marvel’s ever introduced as a lead. Bur there was never the intention of, “this is an issue series, we’re dealing with issues.” While issues of sexual assault and women in power are all issues that I certainly feel very passionately about taking on, the show’s all about exploring the inner workings of Jessica Jones and her ensemble. Their relationships, and Jessica’s examination of her own trauma and healing, in a way.
DEADLINE: To that, how is the Jessica Jones that going up on Netflix this week different than the Jessica Jones you were developing at ABC?
ROSENBERG: It’s very different, in terms of the mythology and the Marvel Universe. Back when I was developing the idea, we were really doing something closer to what was in the comic book. By that, I mean in terms of civilians in the street knew that superpowers were an everyday matter of fact. There was a lot of back and forth with people who were prejudice against people with powers, and vice versa. When it finally ended up at Netflix, they really decided to land it in the Marvel Universe that exists in the cinematic universe. That changes the story entirely. It was no longer about the other, which is what that metaphor was. It’s really more about the character herself, which I love.
DEADLINE: What about The Defenders series, what kind of seeds are we seeing planted in Jessica Jones for that forthcoming team-up?
ROSENBERG: Truthfully, no one knows where it was going to end up, and we certainly didn’t putting together Jessica Jones. It’s funny because it didn’t play in at all, except that occasionally us writers in the room would go, “Gosh, I wonder if the story we just came up for that there’s no room for in our series, maybe The Defenders can use it.” But there are no Defenders yet. There is a plan for it, what the story is going to be, but I’m not a part of it. I’ve really been very focused on Jessica Jones. Our series was well on its way to being created by the time we even saw scripts from Daredevil, and Luke Cage didn’t even have a showrunner hired then. Jeph Loeb (Marvel TV boss) is the master of the connective tissue, but each series exists in its own world.
DEADLINE: Yes, but you spent years developing this show, so are you going to hang around as showrunner for a Season 2?
ROSENBERG: God willing, yeah. I’d love to do a Season 2 of this. I would love to do a Season 2.
DEADLINE: We all know Marvel holds future plans closer to the chest than Iron Man does his Arc Reactor, but what would you change from Season 1 to Season 2?
ROSENBERG: I think one of the things I would be able to do now, that’s harder to do in the first season, is to really expand on the ensemble. Poor Krysten Ritter, she was in every scene that we shot, we beat the crap out of her. She was a shell of a human being by the time we ended, and that is not sustainable. But when you have a show that’s called Jessica Jones, if Jessica Jones isn’t in a scene the rest of it become almost irrelevant until you earn other character storylines. You’ve got to flesh out those characters enough that you can travel.
So, I would hope to further expand on the ensemble, and on Jessica’s world. She ends in a very different place than she started off. She’s still going to be Jessica Jones — that is not going to change. She will continue to drink and make mistakes, and accidentally drop people onto train tracks, but something has changed for her by the end of this season, and I’d just love to explore that in the second season.
The first season of Jessica Jones will finally hit Netflix at 12:01 AM PST.
Be sure to follow us as we post our daily reviews for the series on the site! (We’ve already posted a review for the first episode here!) And check back tomorrow as we’ll be live blogging the first two episodes!