Screenwriter Melissa Rosenberg has written her final “Fade to Black” on the scripts for the “Twilight” film series, but she’s already set to type “Fade In” on a new slate of projects for varying breeds of fanboys and fangirls to sink their teeth into.
First on her list of projects, Rosenberg tells PopcornBiz, is “A.K.A. Jessica Jones,” a television adaptation of Marvel Comics’ acclaimed but short-lived comic book series "Alias" by fan-favorite writer Brian Michael Bendis. The series ran from 2001-2004 and starred fallen superhero turned private intestigator Jessica Jones as she came to grips with her troubled past and forged a romantic relationship with long-running Marvel character Luke Cage.
“Brian Michael Bendis is an extraordinary writer,” says Rosenberg. “I love that series. I love that character. And we're just hoping ABC has room for it in their fall schedule. Because, you know, it's dark material. It's not 'Captain America.’ I mean, it is some pretty gritty, adult-themed stuff. So we'll have to see how that fits [on network television].
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Rosenberg says the series will still “absolutely” be firmly set against the backdrop of a superheroic world. “She's a former superhero with post-traumatic stress disorder trying to make it as a detective in New York. But she keeps on getting pulled back in, because she has some minor superpowers. She's got like B-level superpowers – she's so awesome! But she keeps on getting pulled back in, so she's straddling the two worlds.”
While the comic book series was able to pull plots, characters and guest stars from the vast established Marvel Universe – which is populated by characters like Spider-Man, Iron Man, Captain America, Daredevil, the Fantastic Four and the Avengers – differing studio ownerships of various characters make tapping that well tougher to pull off on TV, she says. “It's very difficult to reference one or the other because, oh, Fox owns that and someone else owns that,” Rosenberg explains. “But we're able to use Luke Cage and some of the lesser-known characters. But Jessica and Luke Cage – as long as I have those two guys, I don't care who else!”
After toiling in the world of vampires and werewolves, Rosenberg excited to venture into a landscape of superheroes – and it’s a return trip, as she reveals. “It’s not my first because I worked on a show called 'Birds of Prey' way back – I mean decades ago!” she laughs. “So I was a little bit experienced, but I've not ever been completely immersed in that world, so this was definitely diving in a significant way. And I got very lucky, you know, in nabbing Brian Michael Bendis. How much better does it get than that? Really?”
Diving into TV doesn't mean Rosenberg is leaving feature film behind: Along with having completed a pass on the screenplay for the upcoming remake of “Highlander,” “I’m working on a movie for Paramount called ‘Earthseed,’ and it’s based on another young adult novel, but it was actually written in 1983. So it’s not as well known – which has its pluses and minuses, of course – and it’s a straight science fiction movie, and not science fantasy, so it’s a new world and fun one for me to be in.”
“Where ‘Twilight’ is about romance and love and relationships, unapologetically, this is much more about what it is to be human,” she adds. “There’s some love in there, but that’s not what it’s actually about. There are some adult themes and complex things, hence it’s an enormous challenge to write, science aside!”
With so much on her plate, it would be easy for Rosenberg to get overwhelmed. But instead, she's exactly where she wants to be.
“I feel that as long as I get to tell great stories about interesting worlds, I’m happy."