Captain Marvel is indirectly responsible for the first attempt at a Jessica Jones series falling through. Jessica Jones first made her live-action debut on the eponymous Marvel Netflix series in 2015, with Krysten Ritter portraying the superhuman detective. Jessica Jones notably was the first female-led Marvel TV series, with 2019’s Captain Marvel laying claim to being the first female-led movie in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but history could have played out differently.
The new book MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios by Dave Gonzales and Joanna Robinson chronicles the rise of the Marvel Cinematic Universe from its kick-off movie in 2008’s Iron Man and its many crossovers and team-ups in The Avengers and Guardians of the Galaxy films. The book also touches upon the initial plans to bring Jessica Jones to life in a live-action series. As it turns out, Jessica Jones might have happened much sooner than her role in Marvel-Netflix’s Defenders timeline, only for Captain Marvel to change the trajectory for both characters.
Captain Marvel Is Why Jessica Jones’ Original Show Was Canceled
In MCU: The Reign of Marvel Studios, it is revealed that a Jessica Jones series was originally in development for ABC, after Marvel was bought by Disney. The Jessica Jones show was initially under the stewardship of writer Melissa Rosenberg, and came about after Guillermo del Toro departed from a planned Hulk series in order to make 2013’s Pacific Rim. However, priorities changed with Captain Marvel’s potential role in the show.
As revealed in the book, ABC decided they instead “wanted to retool the show to focus on Jessica Jones’ pal Carol Danvers (the future Captain Marvel).” This ultimately led to Rosenberg’s plans for a Jessica Jones series not moving ahead, with Jessica Jones eventually happening as one the later Marvel-Netflix series. Meanwhile, ABC’s prospective Captain Marvel series evidently did not take off either, with Carol Danvers not appearing in live-action until 2019’s Captain Marvel movie, with Brie Larson portraying Carol Danvers.
How Captain Marvel’s Earlier Debut Would’ve Changed The MCU
Carol Danvers entered the MCU right as the Infinity Saga was reaching its crescendo, with Captain Marvel being released between Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. The ABC Captain Marvel series would have radically changed the MCU’s overall story by introducing Carol Danvers much earlier than Infinity War‘s tease for her and the Captain Marvel movie itself ultimately did. Carol Danvers would have been a major player in the MCU and likely ally to the Avengers, meaning she would probably have been a featured heroine for the entirety of Infinity War, and might even have been one of the characters to disintegrate in Thanos’ snap before returning in Endgame.
Instead of the ending of Captain Marvel setting up Endgame, Carol Danvers could very well have been a staple of the MCU on the level of Iron Man or Captain America long before Infinity War, had her ABC series moved ahead. Of course, the Jessica Jones show that never was would have also greatly altered her role alongside Marvel’s street-level heroes and the overall MCU pantheon. With so many puzzle pieces at work in the construction of the MCU, the unmade Captain Marvel and Jessica Jones ABC shows illustrate just how different the franchise could have looked had either heroine debuted sooner than she did.
Key Release Dates
Captain America: Brave New World
Marvel’s Fantastic Four
Avengers: The Kang Dynasty
Avengers: Secret Wars
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