Marvel's Jessica Jones is now streaming on Netflix, with all 13 episodes available to watch.
The series stars Krysten Ritter as the titular Jones, a former superhero who retired from the trade following a traumatic incident. Now working as a private detective in New York's Hell's Kitchen, she specialises in cases involving people with superpowers. However, a dark figure from her past is soon to return and send shockwaves through her world. David Tennant plays the enigmatic Kilgrave, a former spy turned supervillain.
But who is Kilgrave? Even David, a lifelong reader of Marvel comics, admits that he didn’t know much about the character when he signed on for the role.
“[Taking the role] was a bit of a gamble, but I'm very glad I rolled those particular dice,” he says. “This world is so unusual, exciting, dark and quite adult not necessarily all the things you’d expect a superhero show to be.”
The original comic book version of Kilgrave was a Yugoslavian spy who received his powers after a chemical spill gave him the ability to control other people through his pheromones. David’s version is now English and lacks the violet skin tone of the comics character which gave him the moniker of The Purple Man. Instead he appears to favour purple clothing, an adaptation that costume designer Stephanie Maslansky explains was an important one in order to ground Kilgrave in a grittier, more realistic universe.
“It was important not to make him look ridiculous,” she says. “He’s now a real person, and we needed to figure out a way to make him look ominous and scary and threatening.” To do this, she incorporated a few deliberate purple and lavender accessories into David’s wardrobe, like ties, cufflinks and pocket squares. “They all worked together to create a particular look that aided, I hope, in his devilishness.”
The screen version of Kilgrave has retained his comic counterpart’s power of mind control which, as David explains, underpins the character’s demanding, manipulative behaviour.
“He’s the kid in the toy shop; he can have whatever he wants,” he says. “Part of the journey of growing up is that you have to learn things don't always work that way. But for Kilgrave, that's never been the truth.”
Other cast include Mike Colter as Luke Cage, soon to lead up his own Marvel series, Rachael Taylor as Patsy "Hellcat" Walker and Carrie-Anne Moss.
Visit Netflix to start watching today!