While Marvel's bigscreen plans have been extensively covered here, I've left reports of what's going on in the TV world to the uber-capable Alan Sepinwall and Dan Fienberg for the most part. Today, though, reports of possible casting for Jessica Jones had me thinking again about the Netflix series and just what a cool idea it is overall.
Charlie Cox has already been cast as the lead in "Daredevil," and they've been shooting on that series for a little while now. They're just starting to cast for "Jessica Jones" now, and it sounds like a really solid list of possibilities so far. Alexandra Daddario would probably be my first choice, but that's true of pretty much whatever she is up for. I think Daddario's got real chops, and she's comic-book-gorgeous. She also seems like someone who could easily carry the character over from this TV incarnation into features if Marvel ever decided to do that.
Krysten Ritter, Teresa Palmer, and Jessica De Gouw were also mentioned as being on the list of actors being tested for the role, the lead in what will be the second of the Netflix Marvel series. The show focuses on what happens when Jones retires from being a superhero to become a private detective, which allows Marvel and series show runner Melissa Rosenberg to do a very different genre than what we've already seen set in the Marvel universe.
That is, of course, the way they're going to keep things rolling along. Taking the basic underpinnings of the superhero archetype and pushing things into new shapes is a smart way to extend the life of what is that Marvel's doing. It sounds like "Daredevil" is going to be a very different view of the Marvel universe as well, and "Jessica Jones" will be the second of four series that are set in this particular corner of things, with "Iron Fist" and "Luke Cage" still to come. Cage will appear in several episodes of "Jessica Jones," though, and they're also evidently starting to consider choices for that role as well. Mike Colter, one of the stars of "The Following" and "The Good Wife," has the full endorsement of both Greg Ellwood and Alan Sepinwall here at HitFix, and he's pretty much a dead ringer for the character in photos.
What I'm most excited by overall, though, is the way they're going to follow up the four individual limited series with a special cross-over called "The Defenders." Altogether, we're looking at 60 episodes of interconnected storytelling that will define this street-level view of the Marvel universe, also introducing characters who could easily end up somewhere else at some point.
I'm still very confused by DC's overall TV plan. It's sort of wink-wink funny to say that the TV shows are all set in the Multiverse, but I suspect that's just a way of brushing off the question, not an actual storytelling choice that will pay off at some point down the road. It seems like people really like "Arrow" and "The Flash," so it's baffling that Warner Bros. would make the decision up front to simply not use those takes on the characters for their movies. If you have a fanbase asking to see more of those actors in those roles, telling them no seems like a very weird decision.
It will be exciting to see if Marvel's TV division gets better and better at what they're doing as they bring "Agent Carter" and these shows to life. Not every character should get their own movie, but there are plenty of titles in the Marvel library that would work beautifully on TV. This is their most ambitious overall plan so far, and casting is going to be a big part of making it work.
"Daredevil" will arrive on Netflix in May 2015.