As Marvel’s Jessica Jones goes live on Netflix today, let’s take a walk down memory lane and see how the superhero-turned-private-eye tale could’ve been a whole lot different.
Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg chatted with IGN about how the project evolved in the years since it was first set up at ABC, before originally migrating to the streaming service as an eventual member of The Defenders. One of the biggest changes, which might be a shock for Marvel fans? Carol Danvers, aka Captain Marvel, had a supporting role in the original version of the series.
Of course, Marvel is now planning a feature film debut for Captain Marvel, so the role of Jessica’s friend had to be rewritten. It was that tweak that opened the door for Patsy Walker (Rachael Taylor) to join the series, which worked out really well (as you’ll see once you dive into this series for a weekend binge).
Here’s an excerpt from Rosenberg’s comments:
“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.
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 fascinating to see just how much Jessica Jones evolved during its lengthy development, and it's a testament to Rosenberg & Co. that the series still managed to be so darn good.