Painkiller Jane on Sci Fi


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Jane Gets Green Light

SCI FI Channel has given a green light for the production of a two-hour pilot Painkiller Jane, based on Joe Quesada and Jim Palmiotti's female-centered superhero comic. NBC Universal TV Studios will produce in association with MGM TV.

The Event Comic series centers on Jane, a young Marine who is exposed to a biochemical weapon that endows her with self-healing powers and who subsequently fights crime while eluding the military.

The series will be written and executive produced by John Harrison (Frank Herbert's Dune), Don Opper and Greg Gold. Production is expected to begin before the end of the year.

I've yet to read the series, but the Painkiller Jane/Punisher crossover was great and I cannot wait to see this show.

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Emmanuelle Vaugier Talks Painkiller Jane

In the horror sequel Saw II, actress Emmanuelle Vaugier plays Addison, a woman with a troubled past, who has been imprisoned in a deathtrap by the methodical serial killer Jigsaw. After that, she'll be appearing in the Sci Fi Channel movie Painkiller Jane, which will air on December 10. The movie is based on the character introduced by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti in the comic book "22 Brides," who has since been teamed in comic books with The Punisher, Hellboy and Vampirella.

While in New York to promote Saw II, Vaugier told about the character. "She's kind of like an Alias meets G.I. Jane with a little bit of superpowers infused into her life," she told us. "She was an ordinary girl in the military who was in the top of her game, and she was exposed to biochemical weaponry that changed her genetic make-up, so she has the ability to heal herself. Through the course of the pilot, she's trying to figure out who's done this to her and how it's affecting her body. At the same time, there's obviously the bad guys trying to find her and duplicate what they've done because it's never worked before. She was kind of a scientific experiment that was surprisingly successful."

We asked whether she'd be all wrapped-up in bandages like the comic book version of the character. "They didn't have me in bandages. I sort of have a signature jacket that I wear once I transform into Painkiller Jane, and the signature red spikey hair. It was kind of fun, but the network had a problem with me wearing eye protection during my opening sequence with machine guns and bullets flying everywhere. They're like 'We wanna see her face!' and I'm like 'But you want me not blind. See not blind is the key here, because then you can have a series.' We won that battle."

Saw II opens on Friday, October 28 and Painkiller Jane airs on the Sci Fi Channel on December 10.

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And Painkiller Jane lives again. Sci Fi has picked up the property as an ongoing series, approving production on 22 hour-long episodes from Vancouver's Insight Film Studios and Kickstart Comics. The character, originally created by Joe Quesada and Jimmy Palmiotti, first appeared on Sci Fi in an original movie last December. Production on the new episodes is slated to begin in Vancouver next month, and due to premiere on Sci Fi in January, with syndication slated to begin in the fall of ’07. The cast for the series version of Painkiller Jane has yet to be finalized. Emmanuelle Vaugier starred as Jane in the film version, but there’s no word as to whether or not the actress will return to the role for the series.

As Newsarama reported last year, the Sci Fi movie version of the character was slightly different from the one created by Quesada and Palmitiotti for use in comics, swapping out the organized crime and NYPD angle of Jane Vasko’s origin for Special Forces and an anti-narcotics raid in Sovetskoye, a town in the Russian Republic of Chechenia. And now, it appears that there will be another slight change, given Sci Fi’s description of the show:

Painkiller Jane is the story of Jane Vasko, a young researcher trying to make a difference as the world faces its greatest drug addiction epidemic. When Jane catches wind of a budding conspiracy, and a secret research program within her corporation, she turns DEA informant. Thus threatening to expose corruption within one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world, Jane becomes a target. However, she is accidentally exposed to an experimental 'cure' that renders her impervious to sickness and injury but not pain. Unfortunately for Jane, these powers come at a price: she has less than a month left to live before the cure's unstable nature overtakes her. Jane continues to develop new abilities. After each injury, she heals stronger than she had been. But the pain remains and intensifies as she races to turn the tables on her pursuers, and save her own life.

While Quesada and Palmiotti’s only interaction with Jane these days is with the new, ongoing Dynamite Entertainment series (issue #3 due out shortly), Palmiotti did tell Newsarama in December that, if the opportunity presents itself, he kinda did always want to direct.

“Of course, given the chance, and if Painkiller Jane goes to a series, I would love to write and direct some episodes, as I am sure Joe would…in a heartbeat. I think it would be fun to shut up and put up at some point.”

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Sci Fi Channel has provided The Continuum with the first images from the upcoming Painkiller Jane television series, based on the comic book created by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada.

The image to the right is a publicity still of Kristanna Loken as Jane Vasco.

The images below are from the first episode. They include Loken, Rob Stewart as Andre McBride, Stephen Lobo as Dr. Seth Carpenter and Noah Danby as Connor King.

Here's how Sci Fi describes the series:

"In the near future -- with the world locked in an escalating battle against terrorism and beleaguered by social and economic unrest -- an unlikely new hero has emerged: Jane Vasco, a.k.a. Painkiller Jane.

"Once the DEA's top agent, Jane Vasco is a formidable presence, both mentally and physically. And when push comes to shove, she always makes sure that she's the one doing the shoving. As a child, her father nicknamed her 'Painkiller Jane,' describing her steely will and ability to mentally push through even the most painful situations. But her strength is about to be tested.

"Jane is recruited by a covert government agency dedicated to containing and, if necessary, neutralizing the threat of 'Neuros' -- individuals with superhuman neurological powers. No one knows what caused the aberrations that led to their enhanced abilities, but their powers are vast and varied, anything from telekinesis and mind persuasion to imposed hallucinations. And Jane might very well be one of them.

"During the course of her first investigation with her new team, Jane discovers that she too possesses formidable powers. She cannot be killed. Plummeting from the 46th floor of a building and living to tell the tale definitely proved that. Unfortunately, she can still feel pain. Her newfound powers make Jane even more determined to learn everything there is to know about Neuros.

"Seldom malicious, Neuros wreak havoc most often as the result of their inability to control their abilities. Frequently, in the course of using their powers, they inadvertently leave a trail of death and destruction. Therefore, to prevent mass panic, the government has kept the discovery of the Neuros a secret, assembling a covert unit from various law enforcement agencies with a single mission: identify and contain Neuros.

"Operating from a secure abandoned subway platform, the core members of the unit are comprised of Andre McBride (Rob Stewart), the seasoned team leader; Connor King (Noah Danby), a special agent regularly armed with a smart remark; Riley Jensen (Sean Owen Roberts), an evolved computer whiz in charge of surveillance and communications; Dr. Seth Carpenter (Stephen Lobo), the unit's doctor and scientist; Joe Waterman (Nathaniel Deveaux), the older, caretaker of the subway; and Maureen Bowers (Alaina Huffman), Jane's former DEA partner and friend who, like Jane, is recruited after discovering top secret information about Neuros."

Sci Fi has not announced a premiere date yet, but is expected to do so soon.

Click on the thumbnails for larger images and look for more Painkiller Jane news soon here in The Continuum.

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