A movie about comic book character Painkiller Jane is in the works—making her likely the first female superhero lead on the big screen who happens to be bisexual.
Twin sister duo Jen and Silvia Soska, best known for their slasher flick American Mary, will be directing the movie alongside producers Jimmy Palmiotti, the original creator of the comic, and Solipsist Films’ Stephen L’Heureux.
Painkiller Jane centers around Jane Vasko, an undercover cop working to expose a drug ring connected to the mafia. When a mob boss plants an explosive device on her, Jane’s best friend and partner on the force is killed, but Jane is inexplicably revived by the man she had been sent to deliver a message to, a gang member known only as Adam.
Jane soon finds she has been given superhuman regenerative abilities, making her virtually indestructible—even major injuries heal within minutes (but while she develops a very high tolerance for pain, those wounds still hurt). Being an expert at close combat and automatic weapons who is now nigh-unkillable, naturally she gives up her badge and becomes the vigilante Painkiller Jane.
The series has had small-screen adaptations before, including a film in 2005, if only a Sci-Fi Channel Original “made for TV” movie. It was also drastically different from the original, with Emmanuelle Vaugier as Captain Jane Browning, a US Special Forces soldier (even though the qualifications to be a Green Beret still include “be a male”) who somehow gained superpowers instead of dying when her squad was hit with a biological weapon. (Yeah… it was that kind of movie.)
A TV series nonetheless followed in 2007, starring Kristanna Loken as a cop named Jane Vasco (with a C this time), working with the Drug Enforcement Administration. Her job was to hunt down superpowered mutants in order to forcefully depower them, which made it very convenient when she suddenly discovered/developed her own superhuman healing factor.
A planned release date has not been announced, but according to Autostraddle, the movie will be “an indie action thriller.”