Movieline was another outlet to catch up with AKA Jessica Jones screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg, asking her what would work about the project – based on the Marvel character that starred in the Alias and Pulse comic book series – after the recent spectacular failure of the proposed NBC Wonder Woman TV series by David E. Kelley.
Here’s what she had to say:
I think one of the major differences between Wonder Woman and Jessica Jones is that Wonder Woman is iconic and much better known, so you get into a lot of ridiculous expectations, like what’s her costume going to look like? Well, nobody knows who Jessica Jones is, except for fangirls and boys. So we have more freedom to actually bring the character to the screen in a way with a lot fewer expectations. The other side of that is we’ll have to earn fans as opposed to having them already in place.
But I think there’s also another element of Wonder Woman vs. Jessica Jones; I find Jessica Jones a much more interesting character to write for than Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is so noble and heroic, and I don’t find that as interesting as one who’s really damaged and flawed and has post-traumatic stress disorder. Her superpowers are kind of B-level, they’re not all that great. [Laughs] I just find that much more interesting, you know? It’s like she’s not quite cutting it in the superhero world, she’s a little too weird to be in the human world, so she ends up straddling both.
Additionally, Rosenberg spoke about Birds of Prey, the ill-fated 2002 series that aired on The WB, featuring a group of superheroines led by former Batgirl Barbara Gordon. Before taking on projects like Dexter and Twilight, Rosenberg was a producer on Birds. Not much has been said publicly about the failure of the series, which lasted for only 13 episodes, but Rosenberg finally spoke out about why it may not have worked.
Well, I think one of the problems with Birds of Prey was there were too many cooks in that kitchen. The studio, the producers, the network, all had very different visions of what that should be. They should have just let Laeta Kalogridis control that. Instead they decided to try to get their hands in the mix. I think the best shows have one voice and one vision, or a team, whatever it is, and you have to defer to your talent. Laeta Kalogridis, more than most people, is certainly someone who can deliver when it comes to this genre. She was new to TV at the time… but that was a big mistake to me. Hand Laeta the reins and just let her go!
Speaking as someone who interviewed Kalogridis myself back in 2002, I can confirm that she did know her stuff, and Rosenberg is definitely dead-on here.
The project is still no further than the script/development stages, and ABC has not yet ordered for a pilot to be filmed, but all this talk has to be encouraging. Come talk about AKA Jessica Jones on our forum! And if you’d like to read Movieline’s original interview, with details about more of her projects, you can find it here.