ByJerome Maida, writer at
Jerome Maida

The upcoming "Painkiller Jane" film is not the first time the kickass heroine has been brought to live-action life.

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.

The character's co-creator, Jimmy Palmiotti, says there were things he liked about the character's first two live-action efforts - and elaborates on why he feels they eventually failed to live up to their potential.

"I liked the casting, and a couple of the directors", Palmiotti told me. "On the one shot movie, it was a better grab at the real character than the series."

"The people running the weekly show were worried about all the wrong things and looking at budget and deadlines and not enough of the material right in front of them", Palmiotti continued. "The writers got a lot of people giving them their opinions and notes and it watered down the material. We had some great writers in the room, if only the people behind it let them do their thing."

"My biggest problem later on became that the people that made the deal for me didn't follow up and chase down royalties and residuals, but that's another story for another time", Palmiotti added. "I try my best to keep looking forward, not behind."


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