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‘Twilight’ screenwriter sets Marvel adaptation for TV

Rosenberg plans 'AKA Jessica Jones' at ABC

“Twilight” screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg plans to adapt an edgy female Marvel character for her next TV project.

Rosenberg is the writer and exec producer on “AKA Jessica Jones,” which is in development for fall 2011 at ABC. Although ABC is also in the early stages of an “Incredible Hulk” redux, the deal for “AKA Jessica Jones” is close enough (though not yet fully signed) that it will likely be Marvel Television’s first official project for the Alphabet net.

“AKA Jessica Jones” will also mark the launch of Rosenberg’s Tall Girls Prods. banner. The scribe, who’s a former exec producer on “Dexter,” is starting Tall Girls in order to create and produce projects featuring large, complex female roles.

“AKA Jessica Jones” definitely fits that bill. Part of Marvel’s Max line of more mature comicbook titles, the character is a superhero (“Jewel”) who winds up with post-traumatic stress disorder and gets out of that biz.

Jessica, now in her early 30s, decides to keep far away from others gifted with superpowers and to open her own detective agency. But once she settles down, she realizes she still has a drive to help people — and finds herself assisting other superheroes.

Insiders said Rosenberg was drawn to Jessica Jones because the character is unlike most female leading roles on network TV: deeply flawed but with a biting sense of humor.

Besides Rosenberg, exec producers on “AKA Jessica Jones” include Marvel TV topper Jeph Loeb, Marvel Entertainment chief creative officer Joe Quesada and Marvel Worldwide’s Alan Fine; 3 Arts Entertainment’s Howard Klein (“Parks and Recreation”) is also an exec producer.

Brian Michael Bendis, who created the character and the comicbook series on which the series is based (along with Michael Gaydos), is a consultant. Bendis and Gaydos’ comicbook series, which launched in November 2001, was titled “Alias” — but ABC obviously can’t use that title, given the completely unrelated Jennifer Garner series of that name.

ABC Studios is behind the show, along with Marvel TV. ABC, ABC Studios and Marvel all declined comment on “AKA Jessica Jones.”

ABC has been looking at ways to mine the Marvel library now that the two are Disney siblings. At the same time, under Loeb (who joined the company over the summer), Marvel is aggressively getting into the series business.

Guillermo del Toro and David Eick continue their talks to adapt “Hulk” at ABC. And ABC Family is kicking around an adaptation of “Cloak and Dagger.”

Marvel TV’s 2-year-old animation division has also been busy as of late. Company is already behind Cartoon Network’s “Super Hero Squad” and just debuted “Avengers: Earth’s Mightiest Heroes” for boy-centric cabler Disney XD, where Marvel’s next big project, “Ultimate Spider-Man,” will land. Disney Channel execs recently said they hope to create a Marvel-branded programming block on Disney go by 2012.

The networks, meanwhile, have been eager to develop a femme-centric superhero franchise — the kind of show that could attract both fanboys and women. The CW is looking to turn DC’s “Raven” into an hourlong, while David E. Kelley continues to kick around a rework of “Wonder Woman.” Rosenberg wrote the screenplays to “Twilight,” “Twilight Saga: New Moon,” “Twilight Saga: Eclipse” and the two upcoming “Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn” movies. In TV, Rosenberg was an exec producer on “Dexter,” and also worked on series such as “Love Monkey,” “The OC,” “Ally McBeal” and “Party of Five.”

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