Jessica Jones’ long-awaited second season is upon us. We last saw Jessica in The Defenders, but fans are anxious for their favorite “I’m not a superhero” superhero to be the focal point of her own story again.
When last we left her, Jessica Jones had finally defeated her sociopathic ex-captor, Kilgrave and started to heal from the trauma he forced her to undergo. She still balked at joining Iron Fist, Daredevil, and Luke Cage during The Defenders, but eventually she came around and was instrumental in the Hand’s defeat.
Jessica Jones is a pioneer when it comes to feminism in genre entertainment. She’s messy, she’s cold, she drinks too much, and she’s not really here for your feelings. She defies a lot of female stereotypes, which ultimately makes her more relatable. The show’s used the traction it gained from its success as a platform to call for more equal opportunities for women in film and television, and every episode of season 2 is directed by a woman.
If you’re as obsessed with this show as we are, you’ll what love what we discovered when we did a deep dive into Jessica Jones and everyone surrounding it.
Here are 15 Secrets Behind Netflix’s Jessica Jones.
15. JESSICA… LANG?
On the show, as in the comics, Luke Cage is Jessica Jones’ primary love interest. While not currently together on the show (when Cage found out Jones was forced to kill his wife, Reva Connors, at the end of the first season, the two parted ways), they go on to marry and have a daughter, Danielle, in the comics.
Rosenberg has previously stated her plans to feature Danielle at some point, but much farther down the road of the series. If that means we might see another love interest pop up in the meantime, we’re crossing our fingers for Ant-Man.
Yup, you read that right – in the Alias comics, Jones attempts – and kind of succeeds at – a relationship with Scott Lang, the then-current Ant-Man. The two date for a while, but ultimately split when Jessica finds out she’s pregnant with Luke Cage’s baby and reunites with him.
14. SHE’S A KNOCKOUT
Krysten Ritter trains extensively for her role as aggressive P.I., Jessica Jones, adding a rigorous boxing regimen to her already stacked fitness routine of spinning and Pilates. She credits the sport with bulking up her willowy frame to better look the part of a superhero – even if that superhero is more interested in whiskey than she is cracking skulls.
Presumably she uses those skills when filming any number of Jones’ many fight scenes, but recently, she was outmatched. While filming a one such scene for season 2, her partner landed a perfect uppercut to her lower jaw. Ritter nearly bit through her tongue and in a very un-Jessica Jones move, fainted dead away when she saw the blood.
13. ALT-RIGHT HATE
In today’s politically-polarized climate, it’s no surprise a show like Jessica Jones that features feminist and adult thmes would ruffle some right-wing feathers. Not that Jessica would care, mind you, but the people who make her show aren’t superheroes, and there are times the backlash has gotten really uncomfortable.
While attending a showrunners round table organized by The Hollywood Reporter, Melissa Rosenberg revealed that a photo her and the character’s creator, Brian Michael Bendis, wound up on a Nazi hate site with a Star of David stamped on it. Rosenberg thought she’d receive the most flak for the pregnancy storyline on the show, but unfortunately, the photo was placed on the site in protest of the Jessica and Luke Cage’s interracial romance.
12. MIKE COLTER FACED BACKLASH FOR MARRYING A WHITE WOMAN
Mike Colter’s star certainly rose after he earned the part of Luke Cage, the black superhero who protects Harlem and eventually becomes Jessica Jones’ husband. Colter’s own personal life mimics that of his character’s in this respect – he’s married to a white woman named Iva Colter. Unfortunately, once Colter was cast as Cage, the attention his personal life received wasn’t all positive.
After a picture of him and his wife was shown on the Wendy Williams show, a large portion of the studio audience audibly stopped clapping. A TV One poll titled, “Luke Cage’s Got A White Wife — Mad or Nah?” showed that an astonishing 21% of people polled picked the, “Not Gonna Lie – I’m A Little Hurt.”
11. JESSICA WENT TO SCHOOL WITH PETER PARKER
Compared to the other Defenders, Jessica Jones is a fairly new introduction to the comic book world. She’s the protagonist of Alias, a comic that ran from 2001 to 2004.
The first season of Jessica Jones borrowed heavily from this source material, introducing Jones as a former superhero who’s since abandoned the profession to be a private investigator. She battles and ultimately defeats Kilgrave and starts a relationship with Luke Cage. She was also retconned into the Marvel comics universe in a pretty cool way.
While we pick up with Jessica as an adult, the comics explore her past through flashbacks. We see the accident that killed her parents and imbued her with superpowers, and we learn where she’s originally from – Queens. In Alias #22, it’s revealed that Jessica Jones went to school with Peter Parker and actually had a crush on him – another crossover we’ll likely never get to see on screen.
10. HAIR AND MAKE-UP DON’T MATTER
90% of the time Jessica Jones is onscreen she’s a morose antiheroine chugging a bottle of Jack Daniels or waking up next to an empty one. She’s not the kind of woman who’s overly concerned with her appearance, especially since it has virtually nothing to do with her ability to catch bad guys and beat the stuffing out of them. That’s something that hair and makeup artist Sarit Klein takes into account when prepping Krysten Ritter for shoots.
Speaking to Allure magazine in August of 2017, Klein explained her preference for simpler looks and the necessity for speed: “She doesn’t care what she looks like… We shoot 12-hour days, so we try to get her in and out as fast as possible. We can pretty much do everything in 15 minutes. We tag team while she’s in hair, and even if it’s not perfect, it’s okay because Jessica Jones isn’t perfect.”
9. DCTV/MCU CROSSOVERS
Fox’s massive sale of intellectual property to Disney freed up a lot of Marvel characters that heretofore couldn’t participate in any MCU productions because Disney didn’t own the character rights. Considering how important the X-Men are to so many Marvel comic storylines, making a deal that finally allows for their inclusion in the MCU is a welcome development.
It’ll probably still be a cold day in Hell before we get any major crossover between DC and Marvel. However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t actors who’ve made the leap.
There are four on Jessica Jones alone: Susie Abromeit plays Pam, Hogarth’s secretary and lover and also appeared on Legends of Tomorrow as Mrs. Palmer, Ray’s mother. Kieran Mulcare appears as Ruben on Jessica Jones and the White Rabbit on Gotham. Will Traval (Will Simpson) and J.R. Ramirez (Oscar) both appeared on Arrow.
8. TWO FAILED JESSICA JONES ADAPTATIONS
Since her inception in 2001, several people have tried to bring Jessica Jones to the both the big and small screens. Before Melissa Rosenberg found a home at Netflix for the concept, she pitched a similar Jessica Jones show to ABC in 2010, but the network passed on it. Rosenberg then wound up reworking the concept for Netflix, under the title, A.K.A. Jessica Jones. The name was a reference to the character’s roots in the Alias comics, and the fact that “Jessica Jones” is actually kind of an alias (in the comics, “Jones” is Jessica’s adopted last name.).
The adaptation we really wish we could’ve seen would’ve come in the form of Meagan Good (Minority Report) in John Singleton-directed Luke Cage movie Singleton developed in 2003. Good was signed on to play Jones while Tyrese Gibson and Jamie Foxx were in talks to play Cage. If only.
7. KILGRAVE’S SKIN ISSUES
Zebediah Kilgrave has the ability not only to control the minds and will of others, he often uses his powers to make his victims enjoy whatever heinous act he makes them commit. When Jessica Jones was under his spell for eight months, he used her as a save and used his influence to compel her to act like she liked it.
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on how evil your perspective is), after Kilgrave forced her to murder Luke Cage’s wife, Reva Connors, Jones was so horrified by the act, she broke free of Kilgrave’s control and walked away from him.
David Tennant plays the murderous mutant in Netflix’s television series, but he looks a little different from his comic counterpart in the comics. He’s Caucasian, for one, while the other Kilgrave has bright purple skin. Tennant’s violet wardrobe is an homage to the original character.
6. THE JEWEL SUIT IS REAL
One of the most unique things about Jessica Jones (both the character and the show) is that we don’t see her become a superhero – she’s already been there, done that by the time her story begins.
For a brief time after high school, the comics version of Jessica behaved like a more traditional superhero and roamed the streets helping people under the “Jewel” persona. It’s as Jewel she first meets Kilgrave, who captures her, keeps her prisoner for eight months and uses mind control to force her to do terrible things.
The series follows a similar pattern, and through flashbacks we see Trish Walker (Rachael Taylor) encourage a frustrated younger Jessica, who’s unable to hold down a job, to become a superhero “like the Avengers.” Trish even makes a mock-up costume that Jessica immediately rejects. That costume is a copy of the Jewel costume Jessica wears in the comics.
5. RITTER’S 2016 SCHEDULE WAS INSANE
The Defenders miniseries was always the end game when Marvel first announced their plans to bring Daredevil, Luke Cage, Jessica Jones, and Iron Fist to Netflix way back in 2013. After the massive success of the four series, the series finally debuted in 2017, bringing all four heroes together to fight the Hand and their new leader, the newly reborn Elektra Natchios. Unfortunately, the timing made for a grueling shooting schedule for Krysten Ritter.
After The Defenders finished shooting, Ritter immediately started shooting season 2 of Jessica Jones. That means 10 months straight of 12-hour days and constant physical training.
Knowing that, it’s not surprising Ritter’s cultivated a massive knitting habit to maintain her sanity. She’s advanced to the point of creating her own patterns and participating in “extreme knitting,” which is when knitters come together to create giant knitting projects.
4. JERI HOGARTH IS A MAN IN THE COMICS
Rand Enterprise’s lawyer Jeri Hogarth (Carrie Anne Moss) appears in the comics, but she looks pretty different. Jeryn Hogarth is the original character in the comics, and he’s not a she. He’s still a brilliant lawyer, but he made his first appearance in Iron Fist and remained more closely associated with that particular Defender than he ever did with Jessica Jones.
In general, Hogarth really gets around in Marvel Comics. He’s served as legal counsel to a variety of superhumans including the Avengers, Kitty Pryde, the Fantastic Four, and of course, Danny Rand. He famously defended Rand when the Superhuman Registration Act tried to force Iron Fist to register. He also worked with Luke Cage at a Chicago newspaper called the Spectator for the duration of the 1990s Luke Cage run, Cage.
3. JIM CARREY WAS ALMOST KILGRAVE
Have you ever watched The Mask and wondered what an aged, villainous Stanely Ipkiss would have been like? Yeah, we haven’t either, but if we had, we imagine he wouldn’t be too far off from someone like Kilgrave, a villain with a very particular sense of flair. It turns out, we were closer to seeing that reality than anyone realized. In addition to David Tennant, Jim Carrey was also reportedly considered for the role of Jessica’s mental torturer, Zebediah Kilgrave.
No word on why things fell through, but it’s possible Carrey might not have been comfortable with the subject matter and violence involved. He famously denounced the amount of gratuitous violence in one of his own films, Kick-Ass 2, a month after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary. He tweeted: “I did Kick-Ass 2 a month b4 Sandy Hook and now in all good conscience I cannot support that level of violence.”
2. JERI HOGARTH IS A MARVEL FIRST
For a medium that really loves guys in spandex, comics and LGBTQ rights don’t have the best history. Until as recently as 1989, the Comics Code Authority actively outlawed portraying homosexuality in mainstream comics, and under Editor-in-Chief Jim Shooter, Marvel had an active “No Gays in the Marvel Universe” policy. Unfortunately, echoes of this edict still resonate today – of the 17 films produced, only one features a LGBTQ character. It’s Thor: Ragnarok and the character is Korg. Hold your applause.
Marvel on TV isn’t much better – it took until 2015 for Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. to introduce Joey, Marvel’s first onscreen gay character. That’s what makes Jeri Hogarth such a groundbreaking adaptation as the first lesbian MCU character. She’s a gender-bent, gay version of the original comic character, and the series doesn’t flinch from making her human to boot. She’s morally grey and was actually cheating on her wife with secretary Zoe at the start of the series.
1. KRYSTEN RITTER WASN’T INTERESTED AT FIRST
Krysten Ritter already had a pretty impressive career before she landed the titular role in Netflix’s Jessica Jones. After a star-making turn on Breaking Bad, she nabbed her own short-lived sitcom, the cult-favorite Don’t Trust the B in Apartment 23. But when she was approached about starring in Jessica Jones, her manager pitched the show so badly she almost didn’t do it: “I heard that she’s a typical superhero, but she’s bad at it. My mind went to a slapstick version of a superhero. He pitched it to me poorly.”
It wasn’t until she read the script for her audition scene that she got the full picture: “When I went in to read, it was a scene with dummy fake character names inserted in for Luke Cage. That scene gave me the seeds for Jessica Jones and her demons… I became very intrigued.”
Do you have any other Jessica Jones trivia to share? Leave it in the comments!
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