Leaked Jessica Jones audition tapes give us a very big villain clue

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Jan 20, 2015, 4:52 PM EST (Updated)

Jessica Jones, the second of the five (so far) Netflix series planned by Marvel Studios, has really taken shape in recent months. We know Krysten Ritter will play the titular superhero turned private investigator, and that Mike Colter will play her ally and sometimes love interest, Luke Cage. There's plenty we still don't know, though, including exactly when we'll see the show, what the overall arc of the series will be, how it will tie to the rest of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and of course who will embody that dark force every superhero story needs: a villain.

Well, the last of those unknowns might have just come to light, thanks to some leaked audition videos that have, unfortunately, been taken down. Because Marvel wanted to keep a sense of secrecy, the videos reportedly use aliases for each of the characters. "Julia" is Jessica, "Tracey" seems to be Luke, and then there's a manipulative, malevolent figure from Jessica's past named "Kincade." Now, we can't say for sure who "Kincade" is, but based on the context of his portrayal in the auditions, the "K" in his name, and Jessica's recent comic-book history, odds are pretty good that the character is actually Zebediah Killgrave, aka the Purple Man.

Originally introduced in the 1960s as a villain for Daredevil, Killgrave is a supervillain who, after being exposed to a chemical that turned him purple, gained the ability to force people to do whatever he wished. In Brian Michael Bendis' acclaimed Jessica Jones series Alias, the Purple Man uses this power in one of the darkest ways imaginable, kidnapping Jessica for eight months and subjecting her to psychological torture (which included making her watch him rape other women) and brainwashing. The ordeal was a major factor in her decision to give up superheroics and pursue a life as a private investigator. 

Now, if this is indeed Killgrave, and he is indeed a manipulative figure from Jessica's past, it could mean that he's only appearing in flashbacks that reveal her reasons for turning to private investigations. He does spend plenty of time battling both Daredevil and Luke Cage in the pages of Marvel Comics, though, so his ties to all three of these heroes could mean he'll be sticking around on Netflix for quite a while. We just don't know yet, but if those audition tapes prove to reflect the broader show, we might be seeing a lot of the Purple Man.

(Via The Mary Sue)