Series: Painkiller Jane
About six months ago I was able to hunt up a copy of the ‘pilot’ for a potential series based on the Event Comics character Painkiller Jane. While it was billed as a ‘made for tv’ movie, the two hour long effort which stared Emmanuelle Vaugier (Saw 2, Two and a Half Men), was also quite obviously an attempt to set up a series – An effort that appears to have paid off as a series based on the character is currently in the works, however Emmanuelle Vaugier has been replaced in the lead by Terminator 3’s Kristanna Loken.
The pilot (should it actually end up counting as one) focused on Captain Jane Browning, a member of a Special Forces unit code named Painkiller which is fairly removed from the plot of the comic series: In the comic the primary character is Jane Vasko, a vigilante with the ability to recover from even the most horrific wounds (a trait shared with the character from the pilot), however the Jane from the comic started out as an undercover police officer.
To be honest, I’m really not that familiar with the comic series, but judging from what I do know, and from having see the pilot, it doesn’t appear that they are going to share too much in common, other than the abilities and first name of the main character.
Jimmy Palmiotti, who co-created the character along with Joe Quesada (editor-in-chief of Marvel Comics), will be working closely on the series, although he apparently wasn’t very involved with the pilot, which may explain some of the key variations from the original concept. At the recent ‘MegaCon’ in Orlando Palmiotti said that the series is going to be episodic, meaning that there wont be a dominate overbearing arc to the series. While I personally prefer long story arcs, this may actually help the Painkiller Jane series to ‘catch on’.
One of the biggest drawbacks for shows like LOST, HEROES and JERICHO is that if they don’t catch viewers attention from the beginning it can be extremely hard for them to pick up new fans. I’m not saying that Painkiller Jane is looking anywhere near as good as any of those shows (In actuality the pilot was quite weak, in my opinion), however the fact that you don’t need to be invested in it from the very start may mean that it picks up enough viewers to keep afloat for a little longer than shows like BLADE have (which featured an over arcing plot… and Jill Wagner). It also has the additional bonus of featuring a strong female lead character, something sorely missing from screens since the departure of shows like ALIAS and BUFFY. [source]