This weekend, many a comic book fans will be firing up Netflix to watch Marvel's Jessica Jones, with Krysten Ritter playing the show's namesake. The new TV series is Marvel and Netflix's follow up to their widely popular Daredevil TV series released earlier this year. Jessica Jones, like Daredevil, take place in Hell's Kitchen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
While Marvel is trying to build a larger universe with Iron Man, Captain America, and Guardians of the Galaxy on the big screen, they're also trying to build a smaller street-level world with Daredevil and Jessica Jones that will ultimately culminate in The Defenders mini-series on Netflix. Interesting enough, one superhero that we're going to see in Phase Three was originally going to make their debut on the Jessica Jones TV show (rather than in movie theaters).
In an interview with IGN, Jessica Jones showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (Dexter) talked briefly about an older version with superhero Carol Danvers (AKA Captain Marvel) on the TV show. Apparently, Danvers was featured in early development before Marvel Studios decided to expand the cinematic universe with her own movie in 2019. Rosenberg revealed:
"Back when it was at ABC Network, I did use Carol Danvers, but between then and when it ended up on Netflix, you know, the MCU shifted, and it also shifted away from the universe in the [comic] book. So in the book, the powers are very out in the open and the themes of that are about ‘the other,’ and in the cinematic universe that’s not the mythology. So there was a lot that I had to move away from, just in terms of sheer plot, and Carol Danvers got her own movie."
So instead of Carol Danvers appearing on Jessica Jones, the character Patsy Walker (Rachael Taylor) was added in her place as Jessica's best friend. For the uninitiated, Patsy Walker is a former child star/model and Jessica Jones' best friend. She's not a superhero on the Netflix TV series (yet), but eventually becomes Hellcat in the comic books. Rosenberg continued to explain why Patsy Walker was a much better fit for Jessica Jones than Carol Danvers:
"But as it turned out, Patsy Walker ended up being an incredibly—a much more appropriate fit with Jessica. It was better that her best friend was not someone with powers. It actually ends up being a really great mirror for her."
It's a smarter move for Marvel to have Carol Danvers lead her own movie instead of introducing her as a supporting character on TV. Keeping Marvel's Netflix TV shows smaller is the main reason why they're so successful with comic book fans and Netflix subscribers. It's believed, Carol Danvers is a way to connect Marvel Studio's cosmic universe to Earth because Danvers got her superpowers in an accident involving Kree alien technology. At the moment, though, it's not clear what direction Marvel will take Carol Danvers once she does join the MCU.
Daredevil Season 1 and Jessica Jones Season 1 are now available on Netflix. Luke Cage Season 1 and Daredevil Season 2 (a.k.a. Daredevil V Punisher) will premiere on Netflix in 2016. Iron Fist and The Defenders will arrive sometime thereafter.
Captain America: Civil War will release on May 6, 2016, followed by Doctor Strange – November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man – July 28, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018; The Avengers: Infinity War Part One – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel – March 8, 2019; The Avengers: Infinity War Part Two – May 3, 2019; Inhumans – July 12, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on May 1, July 10 and November 6, 2020.