It appears that yet another Marvel Comics property is making its way to the small screen to join Guillermo del Toro and David Eick's Incredible Hulk on ABC. While asking most people if they know the character of Jessica Jones might evoke a response like "you mean that chick from Mad Men?", your more informed comic book fanatic would know her as the main character of the title from Marvel's mature "Max" label, Alias. (No relation to the JJ Abrams she-spy show, which coincidentally enough, aired on ABC.) Going by the title AKA Jessica Jones, the project is being head by writer and exec-producer Melissa Rosenberg who, besides screenwriting credits on the Twilight movies, had a hand in shows like Dexter, The O.C., and even some comic book cred with the short-lived Birds of Prey, which featured on DC heroine, Huntress. (The version from an alternate future that was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman.) Set for Fall of 2011, Jessica Jones will be the first show to be released under Rosenberg's Tall Girls production banner which will focus on shows with "large, complex female roles." So, what will we be getting? Will superpowers and some comic book connections bring something new to the table of the growing femme fatale genre?
Created by Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos, the character was introduced in 2001 as super-powered private investigator with a retconned origin loosely connected to Spider-Man's, as a woman who gains super strength, durability, and flight after a car accident that killed her family exposed her to radioactive material. However, after a less than successful stint as a costumed hero called Jewel, her present was shown as a gritty career in street clothes as owner of Alias Private Investigations. With a relationship to Marvel hero Luke Cage (who is rumored to be in the running for a movie,) that results in their marriage, as well as a stint with the New Avengers, Jessica's ran quite a gamut in just under decade. As the report describes her TV character:
"Jessica, now in her early 30s, decides to keep far away from others gifted with superpowers and to open her own detective agency. But once she settles down, she realizes she still has a drive to help people -- and finds herself assisting other superheroes."
We could possibly be in store for a show with a bad-ass female who, unlike the others we see on TV and movies, isn't all that self-assured and carries an ambivalence with which audiences might identify. While she'll undoubtedly be gorgeous and sexual, and her superpowers may be larger than life, her day-to-day problems may not necessarily be the hybrid of the plot of some Bond film and a Penthouse forum letter. In fact, Rosenberg describes her new show's character as "deeply flawed but with a biting sense of humor."
With creators Brian Michael Bendis and Michael Gaydos on board as consultants, the show will also have Marvel TV head Jeph Leob, and Marvel exec Joe Quesada watching over things. With the show designated for a Fall 2011, it will likely beat the Del Toro/Eick Hulk project to the punch as the first of what's looking to be several comic book properties making their way to TV by both Marvel and DC.
Well, do you make out of AKA Jessica Jones?