When Painkiller Jane was announced at Comic-Con back in July with twin sister horror movie directors Jen & Sylvia Soska (Dead Hooker in a Trunk, American Mary) at the helm, very little was said about the direction it would take. Now in an interview with Crave Online they’ve opened up a bit on what we can expect on their latest take of the character. Some NSFW language to follow.
For those of you not familiar with the comic, Painkiller Jane was created in 1995 by Jimmy Palmiotti & Joe Quesada and featured Jane Vasko – a former cop who gained exceptional healing powers that enable her to withstand and heal from any injuries (think Wolverine), but she still experiences the pain of the wounds themselves, hence the Painkiller moniker.
According to Jen Soska, a proper R-rating means that the character won’t need to be toned down to appease more impressionable minds:
I’m not working for Marvel. It has to be an R-rated character. I would love to see Marvel do Marvel MAX movies, where you do The Punisher for kids and then you do The Punisher as The Punisher. Because when you come to a character like Jane, she drinks, she fights, she fucks, she talks like you and I talk, and that’s an important part of her character.
That’s why we’d be really disappointed if that ended up being a PG or a PG-13 film because if you look at the character… kids are reading this kind of content. I mean, when I was a kid I was reading The Punisher. I was reading all this kind of stuff. I think people discredit kids and what they’re capable of tolerating. So Jane has to be true to the character and it’s got to be an R. We can’t tone it down or we’d tone Jane out of the entire script.
Syvia Soska further discussed how important the character is to them as a female superhero and previous attempts to bring the character to life:
I’m so excited about it because there are so few female superheroes that are leading movies. It would be obvious, put Scarlett Johansson as Black Widow in something, and you’re still not doing that. And then you get this bi-sexual, badass, dirty language, doesn’t give a fuck cop as the first female-starring movie? And I don’t really include Elektra and Catwoman. I don’t think those are read movies. It’s just exciting to see that girl kicking fucking ass, and if that makes money, then all those other girls, hopefully, will get their chances to be starring [in] movies too.
And this is the third shot. There’s a Made-for-TV movie, there’s a TV series, and they kept watering her down, watering her down, watering her down. Jen and I are not going to let that happen, and Jimmy Palmiotti – who is also one of the producers – he’s not going to let that happen. The producers of this movie they’re all… There are some scenes in this movie, there’s no way they’re not going to slap us with an R. Once you see it, it’s going to just be batshit crazy.
The TV movie starring Emmanuelle Vaugier was released back in 2005 and the series, which starred Kristanna Loken, lasted one season in 2007 – both on the Sci-Fi channel before it underwent its name change.
While not discussing who they’re looking at for the lead, Jen Soska did explain what type of woman they’re looking for:
I can’t actually tell you who is reading it right now but it’s one of those things where it’s so important to find the right Jane, and Jane is going to be, like the script, right off the pages of the comic book. Tough as nails. The kind of woman that if you nudge [her] in a bar, you’re not trying to pick this one up. You’re going to buy her a new beer and go ‘Oh my god, please don’t punch me in the face’.
Sylvia Soska gave a brief description of the script, it’s “The Heat on crack” and further “the dirtiest language and crudest comedy and hardcore violence, and yet at the same time, it somehow has heart.” She also added that “this isn’t even planned as a standalone film. We’re planning at least two more of these.”
While I’m definitely happy to see Painkiller Jane coming to life again, and from what’s being said, in a more adult form – I’ve always been wary when directors or actors talk beforehand about how hardcore they’re going to be, it often turns out the opposite with style over substance. What do you think? Are you happy with the direction they’re taking?
Last Updated: October 20, 2014