When it comes to bringing Painkiller Jane to live-action glory, co-creator Jimmy Palmiotti feels the third time will be the charm.
Painkiller Jane was made into a made-for-television movie and broadcast on the Sci-Fi Channel in December 2005. The film starred Emmanuelle Vaugier as the titular heroine.
Vaugier had already earned geek cred when she portrayed Dr. Helen Bryce, the love interest of Lex Luthor, on the WB’s hit drama "Smallville" in 2002–2003.The film differed significantly from the comics, notably in regard to the character's origin, but led to a subsequent television series.
The Sci-Fi Channel Original Series based on the character starred Kristanna Loken as Jane Vasco. Vasco had even more star wattage than Vaugier, having made her mark as the "Terminatrix" in "Terminator 3".
By the time the series' pilot aired Friday, April 13, 2007, it had been promoted heavily and expectations were high . The name of the heroine in the show was more similar to the original comic name of Jane Vasko, as opposed to the Jane Browning character from the television film. The series received lukewarm reviews and good-but-not-great ratings. On August 15, 2007, it was announced the show would not return for a second season.The final episode aired on September 21, 2007.
According to Palmiotti, the reason his character has not enjoyed breakout success in her previous live-action incarnations is simple.
"The people involved forgot what the character was about and tried to fit their latest agenda into what they purchased from us", says Palmiotti. "They softened it out and made the story about a team of crime fighters. They also took the edge off her sexuality and tried to make the character into something she wasn't."
"Honestly, none of the versions had the proper set of balls", Palmiotti added. "They kept treating her character differently than the books. The mini movie got it right in attitude and during the series, they got it right in spots, but overall they tried to make a grounded story into a science fiction premise, something Painkiller Jane has never been. It would be like making Batman in the old west. It just isn’t the same thing."
However, Palmiotti is quite confident the upcoming "Painkiller Jane" film is going to succeed where the other versions failed.
"Painkiller Jane" is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.