Melissa Rosenberg Explains Why AKA Jessica Jones Is Better Than Wonder Woman

Melissa Rosenberg Explains Why AKA Jessica Jones Is Better Than Wonder Woman

Melissa Rosenberg Explains Why <em>AKA Jessica Jones</em> Is Better Than <em>Wonder Woman</em>

The executive producer of ABC's AKA Jessica Jones also talks about what she learned from the failed WB television series, Birds of Prey.



Marvel Comics hasn't had a successful live-action television show since Bill Bixby's The Incredible Hulk, but that all could change very soon. Marvel comics will be unleashing two live-action television series for ABC. One will be Guillermo del Toro's Hulk and the other will be the lesser known AKA Jessica Jones. Which is a show about a former superhero that opens a detective agency that helps other superheroes.

Disney handed over the reigns to Jessica Jones project to Melissa Rosenberg. She will be writing for the series, and more importantly be the executive producer. She has made a name for herself by writing scripts for the Twilight saga, and for writing and executive producing Showtime's hit cable show, Dexter. But she also isn't new to comic books either, she wrote several episodes for the short-lived series, Birds of Prey.

What hooked you on doing Jessica Jones, especially in the wake of the failed Wonder Woman series?

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.

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.

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.



On a related note, what do you feel went wrong with Birds of Prey and what lessons do you take from that as you create this new superheroine series?

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!
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