Less than a week after Marvel and Netflix forged their monumental 4 series/1 miniseries deal, whispers and murmurs about their forthcoming collaborations have already started to slowly filter in through the Internet; just yesterday, word came out that Marvel has begun courting The Cabin in the Woods director Drew Goddard to pen Daredevil (following the company’s reacquisition of rights to the property last year). Now, this morning, Marvel has made their next significant move by approaching screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg about serving as both scribe and executive producer for Jessica Jones.
If Rosenberg’s name doesn’t ring any immediate bells, then mentions of Twilight and Dexter should refresh your memory; she wrote the screenplays for the entirety of the former franchise, and knocked out 8 episodes for the latter program while also pulling double duty as executive producer through its fourth season. As far as Jones herself, she’s one of Marvel’s street level heroes, a former masked vigilante turned private eye following a truly harrowing experience with the Purple Man, one of Daredevil’s nemeses, that left her suffering from PTSD.
The announcement, hailing from Deadline, reads well on paper, though it’s also old news. Ages ago, ABC had Rosenberg prepped and ready to go on their own Jessica Jones project based on the Alias comic book series, though obviously nothing ever came out of that venture; instead, we just have the network’s divisive Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. and nary a peep about Jones to date. If anything, Marvel following ABC’s lead, by reaching out to Rosenberg, suggests that she is indeed the right person to tell Jones’ story on the small screen, so in that respect this sounds like a smart move.
But will fans be satisfied? With the books closed on both the saga of Edward and Bella, as well as the tale of Dexter Morgan, Rosenberg’s got an open plate and a need to be kept busy, so she should be able to devote herself to Marvel’s and Netflix’s cause one hundred and ten percent. At the same time, the Twilight stigma might mean Rosenberg’s fighting an uphill battle from the beginning, though her work on Dexter should mean she gets the benefit of the doubt from readers of the comic and general Marvel enthusiasts.
What’s really key here, though, is that Marvel clearly believes in their philosophy of keeping each of their shows unique in terms of tone and style. Twilight may be a four letter word to some, but bringing Rosenberg on board for Jessica Jones still feels exciting anyways – it means that the studio isn’t afraid to make unexpected choices for their television pursuits, and it means that they truly want Jessica Jones to feel different from Daredevil, and for Daredevil to feel different from Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., and so on.
That’s going to make it interesting when Matt Murdock’s and Jones’ separate narratives inevitably intersect in the Defenders miniseries, of course, but it’s great to see that individual identity remains important for Marvel’s television pursuits. Now, the big questions are how much Rosenberg will tinker with Jones’ back story – we could meet her as a detective in the present day and witness her ordeal with the Purple Man in flashback, or the show could start with that awful incident and go forward from there – and how explicit she’ll be able to go with character’s background.
Regardless, this is a great development for Jessica Jones, and it’ll be exciting to see how the rest of the show comes together in the coming months. It could also mean we’re that much closer to finding out who the showrunners for Luke Cage and Iron Fist will be, but as with most things Marvel, we’ll know when we know.
We’ll keep you posted on Jessica Jones updates as they become available.