Exclusive: Creator Jimmy Palmiotti elated over casting of Jessica Chastain as 'Painkiller Jane'

GettyImages-622329366
Jessica Chastain has been cast in a big screen adaptation of "Painkiller Jane"

Jessica Chastain is going to be "Painkiller Jane"!

Yep, One of the biggest, most badass actresses in Hollywood is going to play Jimmy Palmiotti's badass co-creation (with Joe Quesada, in 1996) in a big-budget feature film.

The character-whose actual name is Jane Vasko-is one of the most popular comic book characters ever-not created by Marvel or DC. Jane has incredible healing abilities that make her almost impossible to kill, but not impervious to pain. She is also a master in martial arts and an expert marksman with her weapons of choice: a pair of handguns.

Painkiller Jane's popularity has made other companies want to do crossovers with their characters, including The Punisher, Vampirella and Hellboy.

Now, it has attracted an A-list actress to play her on the big-screen.

It seems like a perfect match, but like anything in Hollywood, it took a lot of factors to make a reality.

"Like anything in this business, this deal took a great deal of time, patience-and a lot of follow-up," Palmiotti said in an exclusive interview. "With Painkiller Jane, it was the right person looking for the right property and then being able to get a deal done where everyone was happy. Producers Lenny Beckerman and Stephen L'houroux helped get Jessica and put all the pieces together."

Obviously, landing a star the caliber of Chastain on the project is a HUGE "get"-and Palmiotti talks about how that happened.

"We had been showing Painkiller Jane around and one of the producers thought it would be a good idea to send out the graphic novels to certain people to see if there was any interest," Palmiotti said. "Jessica and her crew at Freckle Films thought it was something of interest and that got the wheels turning."

"Jessica Chastain is one of the best actresses in the business right now," he said, "and she brings star power to the project and an undisputed quality to the production that comes with everything she does. I cannot tell you how excited we are that she chose to portray our character. It's the best news I have gotten in a while."

This will be the third live-action project starring Painkiller Jane. There was a TV-movie starring Emmanuelle Vaugier which aired on the Syfy Channel in December 2005. Kristanna Loken played the title character in a Painkiller Jane TV series that ran on Syfy for one 22-episode season.

Palmiotti says that with Chastain aboard "We are looking at this as a feature film release. As far as the studio, I have no idea at the moment, but there is a lot going on-so that news can happen any time."

Palmiotti had heavy involvement in both previous live-action "Painkiller Jane" projects-even writing the teleplay for some of the TV episodes-and will be involved as an executive producer of the feature film.

"That job is all about making sure the character's integrity and story stays in the production," he said. "The good news is I have a lot of faith in the people we are partnered with and look forward to what is planned."

"The Painkiller Jane film with Jessica will be completely different from the past versions on just about every level and I am totally looking forward to that," he said. "It's gonna be bigger and better-and that's just fine with me."

"First and foremost," he continued, "what I am personally looking for is just a great film. A heartfelt, balls-to-the-wall action drama that will stay with people long after they leave the theater. If it becomes as popular as heroes (like Deadpool and Doctor Strange), well-that would be great! Because then we could see more films and that would be exciting."

"I have been proud of the character since she was conceived back in the mid-90s-and have loved all the hard work everyone along the way has put into her. So,'Jane' being a major film is another step towards validation, for sure-but it's also a fun and big next step," he said. "The idea that people will know the character all over the world soon is pretty damn exciting."

"It also gives a lot of my other properties a boost and my agent plenty to do in the days ahead," Palmiotti concluded. "Creating original Intellectual Properties isn't always a lucrative thing, but once in a while you can get lucky-and with Jane, I feel very lucky."


@philly.com

Continue Reading