During his time as the Tenth Doctor on Doctor Who, we frequently saw David Tennant as the tortured, but now it looks like he’s going to be the one to do the torturing. It’s been announced today that Tennant has been cast in the important role of Zebediah Killgrave, AKA: The Purple Man, on the upcoming Netflix series from Marvel Studios, AKA: Jessica Jones. It’s the first bit of casting to be announced outside for the series outside of star Krysten Ritter as the title character and Mike Colter as her fellow Defender and lover interest Luke Cage. But given The Purple Man’s role in the mythology of Jessica Jones, get ready to be afraid, very afraid, of everyone’s favorite modern Doctor.
Tennant’s casting was announced through Marvel, confirming the Scottish actor’s hiring as Killgrave for AKA: Jessica Jones, the second in Marvel Studios’ five series deal with Netflix.
“I’m so honored and excited by the prospect of David inhabiting this multifaceted character,” said Melissa Rosenberg, executive producer and showrunner in a statement. “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.
“I’m so honored and excited by the prospect of David inhabiting this multifaceted character,” Rosenberg added. “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.”
If you’re unfamiliar with the comic book lore of both Jessica Jones and The Purple Man, in brief, he was exposed to chemicals that gave him the ability to control others and usurp their free will. The Purple Man appeared in the fourth issue of Daredevil in 1964, but in the context of Jessica Jones, and the comic book she first appeared in, Alias, The Purple Man was responsible for ending Jones’ superhero career as Jewel after he kidnapped her, tortured her psychologically, and then sent her to kill Daredevil, which resulted in her being accidentally put into a coma by The Avengers.
How much of those exact details will make it to the show is unclear, but from the logline in the press release, it sounds like Tennant’s Killgrave will play the same role in TV Jones’ world as The Purple Man did in the coming book: “After a tragic ending to her short-lived super hero stint, Jessica Jones is rebuilding her personal life and career as a detective who gets pulled into cases involving people with extraordinary abilities in New York City.”
“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, head of Marvel TV. “While most know him for his roles as a hero, we can’t wait to unleash a whole new side of this talented actor.”
Tennant may be best known as the Tenth Doctor from Doctor Who, but he’s also an acclaimed stage actor with the Royal Shakespeare Company and recently appeared in the popular ITV series Broadchurch and its American remake Gracepoint.
AKA: Jessica Jones will be released sometime later this year on Netflix. Daredevil will hit the streaming video site on April 10.