Monday, January 26, 2015

A.K.A. JESSICA JONES Casts David Tennant as the Purple Man

David Tennant in a Marvel TV series?  Oh, yes!

Marvel has officially announced that the upcoming Netflix series A.K.A. Jessica Jones has cast David Tennant as Zebediah Kilgrave, better known to comics fans as the villainous Purple Man.  Kilgrave is described in the announcement as "An enigmatic figure from Jessica’s past, Kilgrave’s reappearance will send shockwaves through the former super hero’s world."

Tennant is best known for his role of the Tenth Doctor on the BBC series Doctor Who, which he starred in from 2005-2010 and recently reprised in 2013 for the fiftieth anniversary special, "The Day of the Doctor."  He's also known for the role of DI Alec Hardy in the series Broadchurch, which he reprised as as Detective Emmett Carver for the US version Gracepoint.  Tennant has also appeared in the films Fright Night (2011), How to Train Your Dragon, and Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire as Barty Crouch, Jr.

"I'm so honored and excited by the prospect of David inhabiting this multifaceted character," said executive producer/showrunner Melissa Rosenberg.  "He can deliver the most heart-wrenching moment to the driest of lines, and all points in between. He'll make Kilgrave a truly original villain."

"Anyone familiar with David's work knows he brings an incredible level of dedication to any role he inhabits, a level we knew we would need from the man playing Kilgrave," said Jeph Loeb, executive producer/Marvel’s head of television.  "While most know him for his roles as a hero, we can’t wait to unleash a whole new side of this talented actor."

Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Joe Orlando, the Purple Man first appeared in Daredevil (vol.1) #4 as Zebediah Killgrave (note the extra "L") as an international spy who was sent to infiltrate a chemical refinery.  During the mission, Killgrave was accidentally doused with a chemical that turned his hair and skin purple.  After being caught outright and questioned, Killgrave discovered that the nerve gas had given him the ability to command the wills of other people.

Primarily an enemy of Daredevil, the Purple Man was revealed to have considerable history with Jessica Jones.  During the time when she was the superhero Jewel, Killgrave used his mind control powers to subdue her, forcing her to live with him while psychologically torturing her for several months.  He ultimately sent her off to kill Daredevil, but Jones became confused and mistook the Scarlet Witch for Daredevil, attacking her instead. Jones was beaten into a coma by the Avengers, before they discovered that she was mind-controlled.  The incident with the Purple Man left Jones so traumatized that she left her life as a superhero behind and became a private investigator.

A.K.A. Jessica Jones will premiere on Netflix sometime in late 2015 or early 2016.

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