Jessica Jones Showrunner Melissa Rosenberg on Seeing the Show Through to Its End, Timely Tales, and More

Next Friday is the premiere of the third season of Jessica Jones, which will end up wrapping up [...]

Next Friday is the premiere of the third season of Jessica Jones, which will end up wrapping up not only the show, but the entire slate of Marvel shows that were once on Netflix. In the lead-up to the premiere, we had a chance to speak with series showrunner Melissa Rosenberg, who talk to us about what it means to see a show through to the end.

Here's what Rosenberg had to say about the upcoming season of the show and what's next for the Emmy-nominated writer. Let's keep this initial question down to an elevator pitch. How does season three set the show apart from seasons one and season two?

Melissa Rosenberg: Well, season three is an active evolution out of one and two. I really look at three as a complete arc and story. So season three is very much the next step for Jessica. If season one and two were about her digging into her past and facing her demons and looking inwardly and backward, this season is about her now moving forward and finding her place in the world, finding her contribution to the world, and if she even has one. We left season two off with her mother seeing in her that she has the potential of a hero and saying a hero is someone who gives a shit and does something about it. Season three is about Jessica doing something about it and trying to live into her mother's quote for her.

With a character like Jessica, she doesn't have the mythos that Daredevil does or Luke Cage. As a writer, is the lack of a deep mythos a struggle or do you feel that it's kind of more liberating as you work to plot out these seasons?

I mean, it's been quite liberating, actually. And Brian Michael Bendis gave us such rich characters to work with. This character of Jessica is just so...the way he created her is just an extraordinary character to be able to play with. And then we got to add and bring in other characters and continue to explore Jessica's arc through them. When you have a character with a deep canon there's a lot of expectations and a lot of things you have to live up to or be aware of. With Jessica we had a lot of freedom.

This season also features the directorial debut of Krysten Ritter. How did that come to fruition?

It's something she's wanted to do for a long time and is certainly qualified to do. She and I started talking about it last season as well, but she's in every scene of every episode so it just wasn't possible. And then, as we were creating season three in the writers' room we realized the scene had even been written already and someone went "Oh my god! She's not even really in this!" So, what a great opportunity. Marvel agreed to it and Netflix did as well. So I was able to hire her as a director. And it was really very serendipitous that it worked out that way. She just fricking nailed it, man. There was no sign whatsoever that she was a first-time director. I've worked with directors with far more experience that were not even as near organized and specific, such unique visual stuff, really great.

This is one of the first ever superhero properties to feature a female in the lead role, and then it also takes on some very timely situations. What does it mean to you to be able to create something led by Krysten and that's very much about the current time we live in?

We had written and shot season one before the MeToo movement broke and so we really were just approaching it from the point of view of here is the character, with some very deep damage, who has been a victim of assault and is now going to deal with that and deal with it in a very honest way. Just by being true to a character and what that character would experience and how that character would feel, the season ended up being this really frank take on the subject and that coincided with the movement. It just was an extraordinary experience to find ourselves in the middle of that and realize that we were giving voice to some people who've gone through this, and hopefully contributed to the conversation. The whole series, all three seasons, are also just about the exploration of female power, just the conversation of what it means to be a woman, what it means to be a powerful woman. That's at the crux of the entire three-season run. That's really what we're talking about right now, in our culture, and need to be talking about.

This isn't just the end of the show, but the end of kind of this Netflix corner of the Marvel universe. What do you want to say to the fans who have stayed through everything?

Well God bless them, first of all. I really encourage people to really see this as a 39-hour movie. It's really all of a piece. We are able to really find some closure for each character and bring the story to a satisfying end. We're really proud of it and we walk away feeling like we've told a complete story and I hope everyone feels that way.

Then for yourself, you do have some changes coming up on the horizon, as with your new Warner Brothers deal. They have the DC Universe and Arrowverse stuff... is there any chance you're going to try keeping in line with the superhero universe, or are you going to step away from the capes and tights for a little bit?

You know, I'll probably step away for a little bit. I've been so deep in the Marvel universe it would give me whiplash to try to go into DC at this moment. But never say never. I'm just interested in exploring and trying some new stuff and really pushing myself into new territory and reinventing. I think that's what keeps me young. Yeah, just trying to stay creative and trying to surprise myself as much as possible. Take some risks. You kind of have to do that as a writer, or you get stale.


What has been your favorite show of the Defendersverse? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or by tweeting me at @AdamBarnhardt to chat all things MCU!

Jessica Jones Season Three is due out June 14th. The first two seasons are now streaming on Netflix.