I am curious, who is behind this version of the main villain (played by David Tennant) in Marvel's Jessica Jones TV series?

I don't mean the character itself (which I believe is from the comics), I mean this particular version of Kilgrave as it has been shown on TV.

So I am trying to figure out who had the idea to represent conflict between Jessica and Kilgrave in terms of PTSD and victimization.

The script is elaborated in a more detailed manner than I have encountered before. The hero suffers trying to stop the villain. She has paranoia, bursts of anger, catastrophized worldview. She believes that anybody can hurt her. And of course Kilgrave is the reason why her life is full of fear and hate.

I sympathize with her and I understand why the main villain must be despicable. But I can not find out who created this version of Kilgrave, who did this hard work.

  • 1
    Is "who decided to cast David Tennant?" part of your question? I don't watch Jessica Jones nor I read the comics, and from an exterior point of view, casting a former Doctor Who is not an anecdotal decision.
    – Taladris
    Dec 7, 2015 at 0:15
  • 2
    @Taladris although it was a brilliant decision, he played his role absolutely fantastic.
    – Yasskier
    Dec 7, 2015 at 0:41

2 Answers 2


The showrunner and primary scriptwriter of the Jessica Jones TV series is Melissa Rosenberg.

She talks quite a lot about her creative process, including how she goes about adapting graphic novels for TV in this interview with the LA Times. You may wish to note that the original author of the 'Alias Investigations' comic serial (and creator of the "Purple Man", on whom Kilgrave was loosely based) was Brian Michael Bendis

Did you always see Purple Man as your villain?

I always did. He was in the comic book and I really embraced that. It was such a delicious character and he has so much to do with Jessica's own psyche and where we start with her, so I always wanted to pursue that.

You're so familiar with doing adaptations, how do you go about taking elements of a source material and making it your own?

Since the "Twilight" experience was kind of the opposite of "Jessica Jones" on so many levels, but certainly in pure structure and adaptation. With "Twilight" it was like, "How do I get this 500-page novel into a 110-page script?" With comics, there's a very minimalist quality to them and there's not a lot of story there to fill 13 hours.

What I'm constantly doing, what we did throughout the first 13 hours, you would take a nugget from the comic book and expand upon it. It's like taking little short stories and turning them into films, so you're constantly filling in.

We did that with "Dexter" as well. You have one novel and then you have 12 hours to fill in, so there's just constant enriching, complicating, and finding interesting new connections.

From the original comics, which began in 2001, did you find that a lot of that material needed to be updated for modern audiences? Fifteen years may not seem like a long time, but culturally a lot has changed with how people interact.

What I mostly used from the comics is the characters. The comics live in a different Marvel universe than the Marvel Cinematic Universe, so the mythology is different; so in the comic, everyone in the city is aware of superheroes and they're an everyday thing and the entire subject is about humans vs. supers and that's just not the world of the cinematic universe and definitely not the world here. So all of that storytelling goes away.

What remains is this character and her damage, so that changes in terms of having to create a three-dimensional version of her but that didn't really change because he's really beautifully drawn her, literally and figuratively.

That being said, Rosenberg is very open about using a "writing room" to supplement her own scriptwork

Luke Cage is a major character on the series. How did you create that character, knowing he’s going off to lead his own series? Yeah, we were deep into writing the show before Cheo came aboard to do his series. He and I haven’t really talked at all. The one who was keeping me honest was again Jeph Loeb, and one of my writers, co-executive producer, Scott Reynolds, is a huge Luke Cage fan. So they were all kind of protecting the Luke Cage brand in writing him in the room.


“It was an aggressive effort,” Rosenberg says. “We brought female directors on, we made sure the writing room was diverse and that the cast was very equal.” (Three out of its six directors are female.)


To be fair, it would be the character the writer reinterprets for the screen. This particularly despicable version of the character would be attributed to Brian Michael Bendis from the Alias series. The television series likely had a writing room lead by the series screenwriter lead, Melissa Anne Rosenberg who likely reinterpreted the character for the series.

Marvel's Jessica Jones, or simply Jessica Jones, is an American web television series created for Netflix by Melissa Rosenberg, based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. It is set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), sharing continuity with the films of the franchise, and is the second in a series of shows that will lead up to a Defenders crossover miniseries. The series is produced by Marvel Television in association with ABC Studios and Tall Girls Productions, with Rosenberg serving as showrunner.

A little extra:

Melissa Anne Rosenberg (born August 28, 1962)1 is an American screenwriter. She has worked in both film and television and has been nominated for two Emmy Awards, and two Writers Guild of America Awards. She won a Peabody Award. Since joining the Writers Guild of America, she has been involved in its Board of Directors and was a strike captain during the 2007–2008 Writers Guild of America strike. She supports female screenwriters through the WGA Diversity Committee and co-founded the League of Hollywood Women Writers.

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