Marvel Studios is quickly expanding its cinematic universe to levels never seen before as Phase 4 continues. Included in this expansion later in 2022 will be Tatiana Maslany's She-Hulk, which will be the first Hulk-related solo project in the MCU since the jolly green giant's debut in 2008's The Incredible Hulk. This is on top of Disney+ recently adding half a dozen shows that originated on Netflix, including Daredevil and Jessica Jones.
The MCU is also taking major steps forward to include the characters from those shows in Phase 4 and beyond, starting with Charlie Cox and Vincent D'Onofrio in Spider-Man: No Way Home and Hawkeye, respectively. Now, as Disney+ hosts other shows from the darker world delivered on Netflix, fans and critics alike are curious to see how more of these characters integrate themselves into the MCU.
Now that Marvel can officially bring all the characters from ABC and Netflix into the MCU, the question has become: where, when, and how will the rest of them show up?
The Direct has theorized a couple of these introductions, from Shang-Chi 2 opening the door for Iron Fist to multiple avenues for the heroes from Agents of SHIELD. Now, the predictions turn to a fan-favorite from the Defenders series in Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones.
AKA Jessica Jones' On-Screen Origins
Krysten Ritter first played the superpowered private investigator in three seasons of her solo Jessica Jones show, while also serving in a main role in all eight episodes of The Defenders in 2017. Forming close ties with Mike Colter's Luke Cage, Charlie Cox's Matt Murdock, and Finn Jones' Danny Rand, she established herself as a formidable force physically and emotionally.
Jones makes her living as a private investigator in her solo series as she struggles with PTSD and alcoholism after her encounters with powerful villains like David Tennant's Kilgrave. Her powers include superhuman strength and agility, which were fully utilized in her time on Netflix, although she is occasionally able to fly as well.
Now, Jones may be in for a true MCU introduction thanks to the reports teasing a potential appearance in She-Hulk. There are no signs pointing to how big such a role will be, but her arrival may not be that much of a stretch to imagine.
Comic Ties Between She-Hulk and Jessica Jones
In truth, Jessica Jones and Jennifer Walters haven't interacted with one another often through their time in Marvel Comics.
She-Hulk found her way onto the cover of a Jessica Jones comic from early 2020 titled "Jessica Jones Blind Spot #6 MARVEL COMICS Variant Martin Simmonds COVER B." This story only had She-Hulk in the first few pages of the issue as she snuck into Jessica Jones and Luke Cage's house to surprise their daughter for her birthday with a present.
Although this isn't much, this sets up at least the idea of them knowing each other, with Jessica recognizing She-Hulk and almost scolding her for sneaking in the way she did.
Possible MCU Connections for Jessica and Jennifer
Even though the two heroines' comic connections are minor, the MCU is setting the stage for them to be much more involved in one another's lives on the big and small screen.
Right now, one of the biggest new additions to the officially canon MCU storyline is Charlie Cox's Daredevil after just over a minute of screentime in Spider-Man: No Way Home. He's also rumored to play a minor role in Tatiana Maslany's She-Hulk series, with reports hinting that fans will see him don the classic yellow version of his superhero costume.
Due to Matt and Jessica's ties from the formerly Netflix-owned Marvel series, the two have a strong rapport with each other, one which carried over from the comics. Although it's still uncertain whether their stories from the Netflix shows will be canon to the MCU, there's no reason why their working relationship couldn't transfer to the Marvel Studios narrative almost instantly.
Now, ties to Matt Murdock are one thing, but how would this translate into a pathway to Jessica's potential introduction alongside Marvel's green superpowered lawyer?
We Know Each Other! She's A Friend From Work!
The biggest ties that could be used in She-Hulk's MCU debut with Daredevil is that both of them are prominent lawyers in the New York area. Matt Murdock already showcased his professional skills with Peter Parker, even though it didn't amount to anything substantial, and it's known that Jennifer Walters will show that same work with her career as a lawyer.
In She-Hulk's case, her work puts her into direct contact with superheroes, as she largely tackles cases with some kind of connection to powered individuals from Marvel lore. Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige already teased this for the MCU as well, as he specifically said “you never know what Marvel character is gonna pop up from episode to episode.”
Jessica's work as a private investigator could lead to crossing paths with Jennifer Walters during her day job in multiple ways. The PI could bring in somebody that Jennifer either represents or goes to battle against in court, and there's even the chance that Jennifer could represent Jessica herself due to some kind of incident that reintroduces her to the MCU.
As it stands, Jessica's inclusion in She-Hulk is largely a real idea due to online rumors, meaning she could be in just one episode or multiple depending on the circumstances. Thankfully, no matter how big her potential role is, these reports aren't the only signs pointing to Ritter's return being a true possibility.
Krysten Ritter's Suspicious Social Media Activity
Once Disney+ took over hosting duties for Agents of SHIELD and the Defenders series, Ritter took the chance to celebrate that move by jokingly calling her character a Disney princess on Twitter. However, even though that post was simple enough on its base level, there's another image that hit the internet which is fueling theories about Ritter's comeback.
In early March 2022, Ritter was seen in Austin, Texas donning a look that was awfully similar to the one she utilized when she played Jessica Jones for Netflix. Specifically, the long black hair and the dark leather jacket she had in the images made her look close enough to her Marvel heroine for it to be simply a coincidence.
Of course, Ritter didn't offer any quotes on the matter, whether it be an Andrew Garfield-style denial or her saying what the look was really for. But if fans have realized anything over the past few years, it's that there's no way to tell for sure who's lying and who's telling the truth regarding a potential crossover or role reprisal in the expanding Marvel Studios story.
Will Jessica Jones Show Up on Disney+?
Just about the only thing truly known about She-Hulk right now, outside its core trio of cast members, is that it will debut on Disney+ sometime in 2022. Moon Knight will kick the year off on March 30 before Ms. Marvel continues the story on June 8, meaning that Tatiana Maslany's solo series almost certainly won't come before late July or early August 2022.
Fans won't learn anything official about Ritter's inclusion in the show until it comes to fruition, as was the case with Cox and D'Onofrio before her. Cox was first rumored to appear in Spider-Man 3 more than a year before it became a reality, while the first reports teasing Kingpin in Hawkeye hit the internet in July 2021 ahead of D'Onofrio's December 2021 debut.
Should Krysten Ritter truly be in line for a comeback as Jessica Jones in She-Hulk, her appearance is certain to have the same exciting impact as Cox and D'Onofrio's did before her. It will still be a while until anything official on the matter is revealed, but considering Marvel Studios' recent track record, it's news that absolutely can't be dismissed.
She-Hulk is in post-production and will debut on Disney+ later in 2022. Krysten Ritter's Jessica Jones is available to stream on Disney+, as are the other Marvel shows that streamed on Netflix.