Superheroes don’t typically get to kick back, raise a glass of champagne and celebrate their hard-fought triumph. But then, the star of Netflix’s newly minted hit “Marvel’s Jessica Jones” is anything but a typical superhero.
Not quite two weeks after the second of Marvel’s street-level superhero series debuted its 13-episode season on the streaming service to marathon binge-watching, widespread acclaim and near-constant social media buzz, executive producer and showrunner Melissa Rosenberg (screenwriter of the “Twilight” films) opened the doors of her gorgeous Beverly Hills home Tuesday, with its sweeping cityscape views, to cast and crew members and a contingent of the press for a cocktail reception to mark the enthusiastic response to the show.
“I’m really thrilled, because I felt going in that this show had so much potential,” star Krysten Ritter told Variety. “It’s also kind of scary because it’s such a departure for Marvel. You’re kind of like on edge waiting to see what the response is. So the fact that people are responding so positively is a dream come true.”
“I don’t take it for granted that shows like this don’t come around very often,” added Ritter, who was joined at the celebration by fellow cast members including Rachael Taylor, Carrie-Anne Moss, Erin Moriarty, Eka Darville and Wil Traval, as well as Marvel Studios Head of Television Jeph Loeb. “Roles like this don’t come around very often. Then audience-wise, getting your peers watching it, the industry watching it, and your family watching it, and a big audience – it kind of feels like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, so I’m just trying to enjoy it.”
“I had spent my entire career dying to find a character like this to write for,” admitted Rosenberg, who copped to texting with Ritter over the first few days of the debut excitedly exchanging the positive feedback they were seeing. “Having been in this business a long time, I know what it is to put your heart and soul into something and not have a response – or have a bad response – so it just makes you really appreciate it. And this really unusual. We’ve worked our asses off on this thing, so it’s incredibly gratifying.”
Rosenberg said she was especially pleased to see the audience embrace the deeper, darker thematic elements of the series. “All the conversations I wanted to be happening around it are happening,” she said. “The conversations about women in power, women sexuality, of rape, sexual abuse, control – all of those conversations… There are just these wildly articulate insightful pieces being done about a feminist perspective, a political perspective, at a time where these subjects are getting some attention about women in Hollywood and women in the world, and how we’re portrayed in the media. It’s my life goal to contribute something to the world that hopefully moves it in a positive direction.”
Of course, much of the cocktail chatter revolved around the Jessica Jones’ future: after having introduced love interest Luke Cage, the star of Marvel’s next-in-line Netflix series played by Mike Colter, it’s possible she’ll show up in that series as well, and she’ll definitely be a part of “The Defenders,” with will unite Jones, Cage, Charlie Cox’s Daredevil and the yet-to-be-cast hero Iron Fist as a street-level “Avengers”-style super-team. And the series left plenty of lingering plot threads – Just how did Jessica get her powers? Does Trish Walker have her own superheroic future ahead? Is a turn as the comic book villain Nuke ahead for Will Simpson? – to provide plenty of fodder for a potential second season.
“I’d love that. Me, personally – I’m ready to go,” Rosenberg said “Marvel has a lot going on. So does Netflix. So I don’t know if a second season fits into this schedule, when, whether or not we’ll get one. I don’t know any of that. I personally, I’m ready to jump in now. I’ve had some time off. I needed some time off! It was a really hard run.” Consistently generous in her praise for Jones’ comic book creator Brian Michael Bendis, she says there are a number of juicy comics storylines to adapt. “We’re always mining that series as much as we can. It’s just great story telling. So we’re not idiots, we’re not going to ignore great story telling. Grab it, use it, and claim it – then call it ‘an homage,'” she laughed.
She’s not certain yet how much specific input she’ll have in Jones’ other TV adventures, but she’s confident the character will remain consistent. “What I have is Krysten Ritter, and she and I are on exactly the same page with this character,” she said. “And that is a women that will not do something that violates the character in any way. So if I have nothing to do with it, I trust that she’s going to be the protector of the character.”
Ritter is certainly eager to spend more time in Jones’ anti-stylish boots and tying up some of season one’s loose ends. “I had such mixed emotions about the ending, because what does that mean for Jessica’s journey or her purpose? So I think I would love to see what she gets into next. And I love doing stunts – like, fight sequences and things like that. They always say in second seasons they really amp those up!”