Melissa Rosenberg came from the world of television and graduated to feature screenwriting with Step Up and The Twilight Saga, effectively making her one of the most sought after female screenwriters in Hollywood. A veteran of shows like Birds of Prey and Dexter, she’s no stranger to genre entertainment and that makes her an ideal candidate to adapt Marvel’s female crime fighter AKA Jessica Jones.
Variety reports that Rosenberg will write and executive produce Marvel Television’s first official show, which will precede the company’s new take on The Incredible Hulk that Guillermo del Toro is developing. Under the ownership of Disney, ABC is the lucky network that will air the program in fall 2011. 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 decides to get out of that racket. She opens her own private detective agency but realizes she still has a drive to help people — and finds herself assisting other superheroes. Whether or not that means other characters in the larger Marvel Universe will make appearances in the show remains to be seen, but with Marvel TV simultaneously developing Cloak and Dagger and other properties, it certainly seems like a good possibility.
Sources close to the screenwriter said that she 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, but I beg to differ. Edie Falco’s Nurse Jackie and Toni Collette’s Tara Gregson (from United States of Tara) are already changing the way American’s view women on television and are being rewarded accordingly. There’s still plenty of room for women like that on the tube and there’s even more room for superheroes on network television (because between you and me, The Cape and No Ordinary Family aren’t cutting it) so I say bring it on, Jessica Jones.
Of course, Rosenberg won’t be alone in forging Marvel’s attack on television. Comic book vets Jeph Loeb (who serves as Marvel TV’s topper and has worked on shows like NBC’s Heroes) and Joe Quesada will executive produce with her, ensuring that the essence of the character isn’t diluted on the network.