Netflix’s ‘Daredevil’ series brought a grounded grittiness to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which up until now has focused on jet-setting millionaires in flying suits, rampaging monsters and literal gods. The mob-battling Matt Murdock was almost the complete opposite of that, opening the door to a more grounded element of this unfolding world.
“It all starts with Brian Michael Bendis’s ‘Alias’ series,” she says. “Our reality is extremely grounded. If you read the ‘Alias’ comic books, it’s Jessica Jones on the toilet with her pants around her ankles. Jessica Jones did not train in martial arts, she’s a street brawler. If you piss her off, boom, she kicks you… [Bendis] created this incredibly flawed, damaged interesting character. Regardless of gender, it was the character that drew me. He wasn’t afraid to go there and we went even further.”
If you’ve read the comic, you know that this is quite a claim!
Rosenberg further added, “Character-wise, she is incredibly damaged, flawed, and she makes really bad decisions. She’s a character rather than a superhero. She’s not out to save the city. She’s out to pay her rent and to get her private investigation firm from one client to another… As with most of us, in her there is this desire to do something that matters, something good. But that’s competing with a lot of other really bad behavior. She’s complex. Someone like Tony Soprano, or Dexter, they are sociopaths. But she is closer to that than to Captain America.”
“The one thing [where] Steven [DeKnight, ‘Daredevil’s showrunner] has the advantage, his show was called ‘Daredevil’ but Daredevil has an outfit. Charlie Cox can get a break once in a while. My show is called ‘Jessica Jones’. There is no mask. Krysten Ritter is the hardest working actress.” Rosenberg elaborated, “It’s her face all the time.”
But as grounded as ‘Jessica Jones’ will be, it is still based in the Marvel Universe. In the comics, Jones has fairly generic powers; super strength, invulnerability and flight, the latter of which will be omitted from the live action show. “She doesn’t fly but she can jump many stories,” Rosenberg explained, “and she lands really badly, which is why she doesn’t do it too often. And the less you see it, the more believable it is.”
Rosenberg stresses that this will be a unique series, all its own.
“’Jessica Jones’ is a very different show from ‘Daredevil’. It will look very different. Tonally they’re very different… That was my one concern. Would I have to fit in with ‘Daredevil’? The answer was, ‘No, we’re hiring you for your point of view.’… The beauty of working with Netflix is… I’m doing 13 [episodes]. There’s no pilot and getting feedback and reactions and ratings. You’re in this bubble so it’s really all: what’s the story you want to tell? What are your actors and your characters, where do you want to go with them?”
Finally, this isn’t just another project for Rosenberg, who produced ‘Dexter’ and the ‘Twilight’ movies. “I’m more proud of this show than anything I’ve ever done before.”