The efforts got a shot in the arm today as Deadline reports that Jessica Chastain (The Martian, The Help, Zero Dark Thirty) has signed on to star and produce.
This will be the first comic book adaptation for Chastain, although she's reportedly been in talks with Marvel multiple times about various roles. She was at one point rumored to have secured the Iron Man 3 role which eventually went to Rebecca Hall.
Later, she would criticize movie studios for being gunshy about female-led superhero movies, and later still she would reassure fans that she and Marvel were still looking to find an opportunity to work together.
"I don't want to say too much – but there was one thing, there was a possibility in the future of the character becoming…," Chastain teased at the time. "And I was like, 'I understand that, but I want to do it now.'"
At one point, Painkiller Jane was being published through Marvel's creator-owned Icon imprint (home of Powers, which was just cancelled after two years on Playstation Network).
Painkiller Jane is the latest female-led superhero property to start making its way to the screen; last year, Syfy launched a series based on Beau Smith's comic book series Wynonna Earp, a comic that has tracked a similar trajectory to Jane. In both cases early issues were marketed as a "sexy" comic with T&A-heavy art, but the books managed critical acclaim and cult status because the stories were actually good and their female protagonists treated well enough to overcome the slick look.
Prior to this, Painkiller Jane had been adapted twice: once as a TV series and once as a TV movie. Emmanuelle Vaugier played the character in the TV movie, while Kristanna Loken took up the mantle in the TV show.
Here's how Deadline describes the film: "Chastain will play Jane Vasko, a New York City street cop who gets recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a major NYC drug and human trafficking ring. In a near death experience, Jane develops exceptional regenerative abilities that give her a unique indestructible advantage. With nothing to live for and no way to die, Painkiller Jane becomes an unstoppable force of nature seeking revenge to those who destroyed her life as she leaves a path of death and destruction in her wake."
No word yet on when the film is expected to see release.
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