Jessica Chastain’s last few years have been packed with projects. Following back-to-back turns in Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar (2014)and Ridley Scott’s The Martian (2015), she took on roles in the Chris Hemsworth-led The Huntsman: Winter’s War (2016) and impending drama Miss Sloane, in which she plays a ruthless lobbyist intent on pushing gun control measures in America.
And she’s already ramped up her slate for the coming year. As of November, she has at least seven projects on the docket, all of which tackle a diverse array of characters. She plays a shrewd gossip columnist in Xavier Dolan’s The Death and Life of John. F Donovan, a country starlet in George Jones biopic No Show Jones, and a 19th century activist in Susasanna White’s Woman Walks Ahead, among others.
Now, she’s added yet another title to her burgeoning repertoire, as she’s set to star and produce sci-fi thriller Painkiller Jane. The film is an adaption of the Painkiller Jane graphic novel series from Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada. As Deadline reports, Chastain will portray Jane Vasko, a New York City street cop recruited by the FBI to infiltrate a major drug and human trafficking ring. After a near-death experience, Jane discovers she has special regenerative powers, and embarks on a vengeful campaign to wreck havoc on those who wronged her.
Lenny Beckerman will produce alongside Chastain and Stephen L’Heureux (Sin City: A Dame To Kill For). Executive producers include Bill Johnson, Jim Seibel, Ara Keshishian, and Palmiotti, who previously penned volumes of Deadpool, Jonah Hex, and Punisher, and is currently writing Harley Quinn for DC Comics. Another of his graphic novels, Monolith, is in development at Lionsgate.
Painkiller Jane trails a slew of comic book adaptions in recent years, though it’s a particularly interesting choice given its rocky history. In 2007, NCIS: Los Angeles veteran Gil Grant tackled a small screen incarnation for the Sci Fi Channel, but to no avail. It premiered to a modest 1.5 million viewers and continued to plummet from there. It was canceled after only one season due to woefully low ratings.
Still, it’s clear the original character has bite. First issued during a 1995 five-part mini-series, Jane went on to feature in numerous crossover titles, including Hellboy, Punisher, and Vampirella. The inaugural series was later relaunched, with the first installment selling out. It will be interesting to see how much interest Painkiller Jane drums up, but Chastain inarguably gives the project a big initial push.
A release date for Painkiller Jane has not yet been announced.
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