With DC/Warner Brothers and Marvel Studios announcing huge films the past month that will dominate cineplexes until the end of the decade, it is more clearer than ever that comic book superhero films are more popular than ever - and that each needs to come across as new and fresh to be successful.
Enter "Painkiller Jane".
Not only is there still a possibility the fast-healing female might beat the recently confirmed "Captain Marvel" and "Wonder Woman superheroine solo films to the big screen, but it is guaranteed to have a different tone than those films or any other.
Why? Hot horror directors Jen and Sylvia Soska are co-directing the film.
According to Jen Soska, she is determined to get co-creator Jimmy Palmiotti's vision for the character translated as purely as possible from page to screen - something the character's previous live-action incarnations were found lacking to varying degrees.
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.
Jen Soska is determined to learn from those previous live-action "mistakes" - by bringing the purest version of Jane as humanly possible to the big screen.
"I hate when the source material is needlessly changed. Jane's "take no shit off of anyone" attitude and her sexuality and her fearless (demeanor)", says Jen Soska. "There aren't enough women like Jane out there and it's just stupid to tone her down. It's very important for us to take the character right off the page. She will be everything she is in comics."
"Painkiller Jane" is scheduled to hit theaters in 2015.