Marvel's Jessica Jones, or simply Jessica Jones, is an American web television series created for Netflix by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the second in a series of shows that will lead up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios and Tall Girls Productions, with Rosenberg serving as showrunner.
Krysten Ritter stars as Jessica Jones, a former superhero who opens her own detective agency after an end to her superhero career. Mike Colter, Rachael Taylor, Wil Traval, Erin Moriarty, Eka Darville, Carrie-Anne Moss, and David Tennant also star. A version of the series was originally in development by Rosenberg for ABC in 2010, that was eventually passed on. By late 2013, Rosenberg reworked the series, when it reentered development for Netflix as A.K.A. Jessica Jones. Ritter was cast as Jones in December 2014, with production on Jessica Jones beginning in New York City in February 2015 and lasting until late August.
All episodes premiered November 20, 2015, on Netflix. The series has received critical acclaim, noting Ritter's and Tennant's performances as well as the series' noir tone, approach to sexuality and coverage of darker topics such as rape, assault and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Following a tragic end to her brief superhero career, Jessica Jones tries to rebuild her life as a private investigator, dealing with cases involving people with remarkable abilities in New York City.
Krysten Ritter as Jessica Jones:
A former superhero with the abilities of superhuman strength and flight, suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who opens her own detective agency, Alias Investigations Executive producer and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg had Ritter on the top of her list for playing Jones, even when Rosenberg was developing the series for ABC. Ritter stated that she read through Alias in preparation for the role and expressed delight in working with Rosenberg. On adapting the character from the comics, Jeph Loeb stated, "Jessica Jones is based on a much more adult comic. The source material came that way. She has real problems with a number of things that she abuses! And we’re not shying away from that. There’s no tidying her up."Ritter called playing the character the "biggest acting challenge" in her career and praised the character development. She explained that when she was playing the character, she took "a lot from the comics because she’s so well-drawn. We have some lines that are pulled from the comics, but then the script—she’s as developed for television as she is in the comics". Ritter put on 10 pounds (4.5 kg) of muscle for the role and trained for two months before filming began.
Ritter described the character, saying that "she goes about things in a very odd way, she’s very rough around the edges, and dry and sarcastic and a total asshole sometimes. But I think at her core she’s a good person." Comparing the character to Matt Murdock in Marvel's Daredevil, Rosenberg said, "They’re very different kinds of characters. Jessica is about paying rent and getting the next client. She’s dealing with a fairly dark past. She’s trying to get through the day. She’s not really trying to save the city. She’s trying to save her apartment. At her core, she does share something with Matt Murdock, and he’s a little more aware of it, that she wants to do something good. She wants to contribute to the world. But, there are a lot of personality issues for her that can get in the way. ... Matt Murdock has been studying martial arts. He has extraordinary fighting skills. Jessica Jones is a brawler. She gets drunk, she gets pissed off and boom, you’re down. She doesn’t wear a costume. She doesn’t have a mask. She’s just who she is. She’s an extremely blunt, direct person, and that applies to the action, as well." Elizabeth Cappuccino portrayed a young Jessica.
Mike Colter as Luke Cage:
A man with superhuman strength and unbreakable skin, with a mysterious past that Jones encounters in the course of an investigation and who changes her life immensely. Colter signed on for the series, and others, without reading any scripts, and was drawn to the series because of its opportunity to have character exploration, which he felt was lacking in the MCU films. Additionally, he put on 30 pounds (14 kg) of muscle for the role. Colter described Cage as "a neighbourhood hero, very much linked to New York and Jessica Jones. [He] is a darker, grittier, more tangible character than Iron Man or Thor. He likes to keep things close to his chest, operate on the hush-hush. He has these abilities but he’s not sure how and when to use them." Loeb said the character "is important to the show, and he is certainly important to the story of Jessica Jones and who she is. It would not be Jessica Jones unless you at least understood how Luke affected her life and where she is." He also added that the series sees Luke Cage "not quite in the middle, but in the early part of the middle" of his story, and that Marvel's Luke Cage allows Marvel to "tell a great deal of story that happens before, and a great deal of story that happens afterwards." On introducing the character in this series, Rosenberg noted that because Cage has his own series to explore who he is, she represents him as "a man of few words" rather than trying to say anything about who he is in particular.
Rachael Taylor as Patricia "Trish" Walker:
A former model and child star known as "Patsy" who is Jones' adoptive sister and best friend, who now works as a radio host. The role of Jones' best friend was intended for Carol Danvers when Rosenberg was developing the series at ABC, but was changed to Walker due to the changing nature of the MCU and that Danvers would appear in her own film. Rosenberg ultimately found this to be "much more appropriate...it was better that [Jessica's] best friend was not someone with powers. It actually ends up being a really great mirror for her." Speaking about the character, Loeb said, "what’s most important is the relationship between her and Jessica, and how these two women who are, in some ways, sisters, in terms of their friendship, could be that different, and yet believe in the same kinds of things. That question of, what is it to be a hero and the responsibilities that you have when you have abilities, is something that brings them together, but also continually pushes them apart. I think we’re very lucky to have Melissa as a writer because she really grasps the insight of what it is to have a friendship with a woman, and the way that two women can actually be competitive and friendly, and love each other and hate each other, and have a history with each other." Catherine Blades portrayed a young Trish.
Wil Traval as Will Simpson:
An NYPD sergeant who is very serious about his job. Traval felt that Simpson sees everything in "black and white" and that "justice can be served easily," an opposite to Jessica, who "deals in a world of gray" that causes the two to have friction between them. Traval described the character as "reinvented" and "reshaped" for the series from the one in the comics, as the comic character was "a little bit too hard to handle. [H]e was just a psychotic crazy guy."
Erin Moriarty as Hope Shlottman:
A student-athlete attending New York University who is a client of Alias Investigations. Moriarty called her character a "polar opposite" to Jessica Jones, describing Hope as "an all-American girl, [innocent and] really earnest". Over the course of the series, the two form a bond, with Jessica becoming protective of Hope, due to a shared experience they have with Kilgrave.
Eka Darville as Malcolm Ducasse:
Jones' neighbor who struggles with drug addiction, resulting in his personal journey intertwining with hers. Darville stated Malcolm was a new character for the series, though inspired by "seed characters" from the comics. He also felt playing the character with the drug addiction "was pretty intense and dark" and that Malcolm's relationship with Jessica "is like a flip-flop between victim and savior... much more [sibling-like] than anything else."
Carrie-Anne Moss as Jeri Hogarth:
An attorney and potentially powerful ally to Jones, who hires Jones for cases. The gender of the character was changed from male to female for the series, and the character was made a lesbian. Moss signed on to the series after reading the first two scripts, having been pitched the character by Loeb and Rosenberg. Moss described the character by saying that "she’s fierce, she’s strong, she’s powerful, and she likes that power." She worked "a few days every episode", which allowed her to grow the character throughout the series, while not knowing what the character would become as she played each moment, which she noted was how real-life is.
David Tennant as Kilgrave:
A mysterious man from Jones's past, who can control minds, and whose reappearance shakes up her life. He was born Kevin Thompson and was experimented on as a young child, which resulted in him acquiring an airborne virus that gave him his powers. Loeb called him "a terrible man who doesn’t see himself as terrible" and compared him to Vincent D'Onofrio's Wilson Fisk in Daredevil, saying "there are going to be times [watching Daredevil] when you’re uncomfortable because you’re not quite rooting for Matt, you’re kind of rooting for Wilson, and it’s the same kind of thing you’re going to find in Jessica. There’s going to be moments where some of the things that she does is pretty questionable. And some of the things that, when you learn about Kilgrave’s character and the way that David Tennant plays that character, it’s really extraordinary." Rosenberg stated that Tennant was the choice for the character when the series was originally developed for ABC, but he was unavailable at that time, so the production made sure to "jump on him" when the series moved to Netflix. James Freedson-Jackson portrayed a young Kilgrave.
Susie Abromeit as Pam: Jeri Hogarth's assistant and lover.
Lisa Emery as Louise Thompson: Kilgrave's mother.
Ryan Farrell as Jackson: A victim of Kilgrave, who becomes a member of a support group established by Jessica.
Danielle Ferland as Clair: A cellist and victim of Kilgrave, who becomes a member of a support group established by Jessica.
Gillian Glasco as Emma: An actress and victim of Kilgrave, who becomes a member of a support group established by Jessica.
Colby Minifie as Robyn: Jessica's upstairs neighbor and twin sister of Ruben.
Kieran Mulcare as Ruben: Jessica's upstairs neighbor and twin brother of Robyn.
Clarke Peters as Oscar Clemons: An NYPD detective.
Paul Pryce as Donald: A victim of Kilgrave, who becomes a member of a support group established by Jessica.
Michael Siberry as Albert Thompson: Kilgrave's father.
Robin Weigert as Wendy Ross-Hogarth: A doctor and Jeri Hogarth's wife, whom Hogarth is divorcing.
Nichole Yannetty as Nicole: An intern on Trish's talk show.
James Colby as Brian Jones: Jessica's father
Rosario Dawson as Claire Temple: A nurse in Hell's Kitchen. Dawson reprises her role from Daredevil.
Rebecca De Mornay as Dorothy Walker: Trish's abusive mother.
Parisa Fitz-Henley as Reva Connors: Luke Cage's late wife, who was killed by Jessica under Kilgrave's control.
Royce Johnson as Brett Mahoney: A sergeant in the NYPD. Johnson reprises his role from Daredevil
Thomas Kopache as Kozlov: A doctor who ran the program that gave Simpson his experimental pills.
Billy McFadden as Phillip Jones: Jessica's younger brother.
Joseph Ragno as Roy Healy: A bartender working for Cage.
Miriam Shor as Alisa Jones: Jessica's mother.
Stan Lee makes a cameo appearance through an on-set photograph, the same one seen in Daredevil