Here’s Your Hellcat

Transformers’ Rachael Taylor is your new Hellcat according to Nerdcore Movement. It is as yet unclear whether the blonde Aussie will be donning the yellow tights but Marvel has confirmed that Taylor has been added to the cast of AKA Jessica Jones playing Patricia ‘Trish’ Walker. 

Rachael Taylor has become a genre veteran over the years with performances in Man-Thing, the Emmy nominated Hercules mini-series, 666 Park Avenue’ and the aforementioned Transformers Movie in which she played Maggie Madsen.

Taylor joins Krysten Ritter (the titular Jessica Jones), former Dr Who David Tennant (Kilgrave), and Mike Colter (freakin Luke Cage!). 

Marvel’s history with TV productions is sketchy at best and the addition of Hellcat (a personal favorite and much under-utilized character I feel) aside, much of what I see in the staffing of this project concerns me. Kristin Ritter for one. 

Ritter is a fine actor who can carry a serious piece as well as anyone else out there but her casting as Jones so quick on the heels of her arguably hilarious turn on Don’t Trust The B in In APT 23 makes me wonder if they’re shooting for a more comedic tone. I certainly hope not. While not a fan of the super dark superhero stories, neither do I care for a farce unless it is super well done. Worst case scenario they go for something that is not quite farce, not quite comedy, not quite serious and end up with something that is not quite good. 

Then you have David Petraca. The award winning stage director has some 12 episodes of Everwood under his belt. I liked Everwood, a lot. It was a fun, light, sweet bonbon of a show in the vein of The Gilmore Girls. This is not what I want in my superhero tv show. But, Everwood had heart, and this I do want in my superhero tv show. If Petraca can walk the Whedon line between light and dark, we may have a winner here. Whether he can do this remains to be seen. 

The writers. I want to be kind here. Brian Bendis, as giant a creator as he is, is at best as-yet-untested in TV. I don’t feel you can count his animated work and we’ve yet to see Powers. Writer/producer Melissa Rosenburg has unquestioned talent but her pedigree does not inspire confidence. Her work on the Twilight screenplays aside, we find a lot of OC, Dr Quinn, and Ally McBeal in there. But, we also see Outer Limits, Hercules the Legendary Journeys, Dark Skies, Birds of Prey, and the the juggernaut that was Dexter. While not a Dexter fan there is no doubt there was some serious quality writing in that show. Knowing that Manuel Billeter is Cinematographer (with two years on Person of Interest) and Loren Weeks (production designer for Netflix’s Daredevil) is Production Designer gives us a good idea what we can expect the show to look like, which hopefully is also indicating tone. As to Producer, the only name that really matters is Tom Iacofano. With time spent on Smallville, 24 and Profiler, Iacofano should be well versed in keep a show on the air and profitable. 

For me, the way the ingredients are adding up, it’s not looking good. My fear is that when all is said and done we end up getting an Ally McBeal with a little farcical action thrown in. A pale and weak impersonation of The Middleman at best. 

AKA Jessica Jones will be the second Marvel series to debut on Neflix following the April launch of Daredevil.

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