As individual entities, Marvel and Netflix have the power to whet fan appetites for new movies, months before they come out.
At New York's City's upcoming Comic Con, beginning Oct. 8, the two brands will collaborate on a major promotional event about a joint project.
That project--whose full title is The Netflix Original Series Marvel's Jessica Jones--will bring to television a character who has intrigued fans of the Marvel universe since 2001. Thanks to intriguing teaser videos, a decorated cast, and a nuanced backstory with roots in several beloved comic series, Jessica Jones could become the show everyone at the office is talking about, once it debuts Nov. 20.
While it's impossible to predict how popular the series may become, it's easy to see in countless online settings how eagerly fans are anticipating it. In an entertainment landscape where every fall seems to beckon a hundred must-watch programs, how have Marvel and Netflix made Jessica Jones stand out? Here are three ways:
1. Two brands are better than one.
Marvel and Netflix aren't the only powerful content brands collaborating on a project that will be hyped at New York's Comic Con.
Philip K. Dick--the legendary sci-fi author whose books became the basis for the films Blade Runner, Total Recall, and Minority Report--is practically a Marvel universe, in and of himself. Amazon's new series, The Man in the High Castle, is based on Dick's novel of the same title.
The union of a beloved creator brand (Dick) with respected producer brand (Amazon) mirrors the Marvel-Netflix tandem. And just as fans would've been psyched for a new release with either brand behind it, the combination helps the programs stand out in a season of hype surrounding new shows.
2. The best teasers don't reveal too much.
Marvel and Netflix have done a masterful job of not telling viewers too much about who Jessica Jones is--but giving you just enough to like her. In this one-minute preview, you see at once that Jones is both an everyperson--she passes out drunk, she detests the alarm clock's cheesy song--and a superhero, in the way she squashes the clock like a grape.
What's more, the preview establishes a certain respect for the depth of Jones's character. You could understand if some of her fans were worried that in the transition from comic to televsion, Jones's traits would get burlesqued or oversimplified--or her backstory would become like so many childhood wounds.
But the preview doesn't even tread near her backstory. It just shows who she is, in a nutshell. It teases, which is what it's supposed to do. (And if it's teased you to the point of provocation, you can check out some terrific summations of her backstory on YouTube or Io9.)
When you start reading about Jones, you immediately gain another point of everyperson empathy with her: She is no longer a practicing superhero, per se. After a fall from grace, she's working in New York City as a private detective. And she's boozing up a storm.
3. The personnel matches the project.
Jessica Jones is filled with well-known actors, all of whom have earned reputations in sci-fi or gritty urban settings.
For instance, Krysten Ritter, playing Jones, was Jane Margolis in Breaking Bad's second season, which "hinted that there was lots of dramatic depth just waiting for her to plumb in the right role," notes GQ. "This is that role."
Likewise, Carrie-Anne Moss, well known for her role in the Matrix movies, has signed on to play a role as yet unspecified. However, GQ cites reports saying "Moss will play Harper, 'a person in a position of authority who could prove a powerful ally to Jessica--if the titular character doesn't completely alienate her first.'" As with the video teaser, it's enough evidence to entice you, without ruining any suspense.
Both Ritter and Moss will be at New York City's Comic Con to promote the show on Saturday, Oct. 10. It seems like a safe bet that plenty of fans of Jessica Jones--both longtime readers and new ones--will be there too.