The stars were out at last month’s Jessica Jones Season 2 Red Carpet Premiere as the cast and creative team gathered to celebrate the release of the new season. I had the amazing opportunity to speak with the legendary Jeph Loeb, who serves as the Executive Producer of Jessica Jones as well as the Head of Marvel Television.
When Jessica Jones premiered over 2 years ago, it was a global phenomenon. Did you feel any pressure going into Season 2?
Well, what we’ve tried to do is tell a story that’s a continuation. But if you’ve never seen Season 1, the good news is that you can get it on Netflix right away. There’s the plug! But also by the same token, you can jump in on Season 2 and still understand what’s going on. Jessica’s a very complex character, she is somebody who obviously is very damaged but at the same time has a sense of humor but at the same time is extremely powerful. Not just in her physical comic book strength, but as an individual. And in trying to be able to solve the riddle of her life, she’s trying to solve the riddle of the people around her.
We’ve got an amazing cast. Rachael [Taylor] who plays Trish, Carrie-Anne [Moss] who plays Hogarth, and it’s just a really ahead of its time kind of show. One of the things that we talk a lot about is that Marvel works best when you take what’s going on out there, and I’m not just talking about the weather, and you put it through the Marvel prism. And what you wind up with at the end of the day is a story that some people are going to see as a terrific action adventure, detective-noir, kind of mystery. But if you instead look a little beyond it and see that it does tackle the issues of female empowerment, it does talk about the way that men treat women. It’s very top of mind things that are happening right now. And it turns it into an entertaining show so that men can watch it, women can watch it, I’m not so sure kids will be watching it. But I think that’s really what caught people by surprise. You talked about when it came out, how it became this “global phenomenon.” I think a lot of that had to do with A) how it’s done and B) that it was willing to go places that people did not expect. And we hope to continue that in Season 2 and we’re going to find out on International Women’s Day [March 8th] when the show finally drops.
Speaking of female empowerment, what was the decision process like for getting all female directors for Season 2?
It’s funny, you know, I look forward to the day when that’s not a question.
So do I.
When we all just accept that’s what we want. The way that it was for Marvel was that we didn’t think of it that way. We thought of it as we want 13 of the best directors that are available to us and are interested in the show. Melissa Rosenberg came up with a list of people and that’s the way we see it. At Marvel we don’t care whether or not you’re a woman, a man, an alien. If you’re really good behind the camera and really good knowing how to get performances out of this amazing cast, then we want you and that’s what we got.
Our site is called Talk Nerdy With Us, what are you currently nerding out about?
I watch very strange television and everyone makes fun of me, because I’m the old guy in the room. But I’m super into American Pickers. These two guys are driving around the country finding stuff in barns like cars and lanterns, and sometimes they find comic books. It just cracks me up. I just like the chemistry between them. So yes, I am nerding out about American Pickers.
I’ve never heard of it! I’ll have to look it up.
It’s on the History Channel and it’s Frank and Mike and they literally drive around in a van and go to people’s homes and buy things. People have weird stuff in their homes! And then they go and find some piece of pottery and they say, “I’ll give you $30” and the guy says, “Great!” and then they sell it for $200. That’s pretty much how it is.
That sounds like the life! Thank you so much for speaking with me.
Thank you. I enjoyed Talking Nerdy With You!
Jessica Jones Seasons 1 and 2 are streaming now, only on Netflix.
This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.