First Poster Of Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie South African graffiti 
For Neill Blomkamp’s next slice of sci-fi freshness, Chappie, he’s tapping into a more comic vein that was evident in either District 9 and Elysium. Both of those have wit and laughs, but at the end of the day there’s only so much levity to be mined from the sight of Matt Damon being drilled into an exosuit. The film has a new poster timed with Comic-Con and it’s a bit of a doozy.
The director rolled cameras in Johannesburg at the end of last year, with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Brandon Auret, who is voicing the main character. The metallic dude it’s named for is shaping up to be the cutest ‘droid since Marvin, albeit in a grungy, lo-fi way.
Chappie, penned by Blomkamp and his old District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell, sees the title character kidnapped at birth by two gangsters and becoming the adopted son of a strange, dysfunctional family. He’s a preternaturally gifted prodigy who happens to be a robot.
How that all parlays into the story remains to be seen, but Blomkamp is promising strong visuals and plenty of comedy. “District 9, Elysium and Chappie were all born out of some visual concept first,” he told Empire in 2012. “Chappie is the imagery, because I think I’m a visual person first, of this ridiculous robot character. It’s much more comedy based, and in an unusual setting.”
Chappie will make its bow in the UK cinemas on March 6, 2015. No news yet on an Aussie release date.
Phil de Semlyen

First Poster Of Neill Blomkamp’s Chappie
South African graffiti

For Neill Blomkamp’s next slice of sci-fi freshness, Chappie, he’s tapping into a more comic vein that was evident in either District 9 and Elysium. Both of those have wit and laughs, but at the end of the day there’s only so much levity to be mined from the sight of Matt Damon being drilled into an exosuit. The film has a new poster timed with Comic-Con and it’s a bit of a doozy.

The director rolled cameras in Johannesburg at the end of last year, with a cast that includes Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley, Dev Patel, Ninja, Yolandi Visser, Jose Pablo Cantillo and Brandon Auret, who is voicing the main character. The metallic dude it’s named for is shaping up to be the cutest ‘droid since Marvin, albeit in a grungy, lo-fi way.

Chappie, penned by Blomkamp and his old District 9 co-writer Terri Tatchell, sees the title character kidnapped at birth by two gangsters and becoming the adopted son of a strange, dysfunctional family. He’s a preternaturally gifted prodigy who happens to be a robot.

How that all parlays into the story remains to be seen, but Blomkamp is promising strong visuals and plenty of comedy. “District 9, Elysium and Chappie were all born out of some visual concept first,” he told Empire in 2012. “Chappie is the imagery, because I think I’m a visual person first, of this ridiculous robot character. It’s much more comedy based, and in an unusual setting.”

Chappie will make its bow in the UK cinemas on March 6, 2015. No news yet on an Aussie release date.

Phil de Semlyen

Uma Thurman Joins Adam JonesAKA Bradley Cooper’s chef drama…
With the film starting shooting this week, Bradley Cooper’s new project, once named Chef, has secured a new title and some additional cast members. Uma Thurman, Jamie Dornan, Sam Keeley, Sarah Greene, Emma Thompson and Daniel Bruhl are all now set to enter the kitchen.
Thanks to Jon Favreau’s recent indie success story, Cooper’s movie is now called Adam Jones, after his character. John Wells is cranking the cameras now, kicking off in New Orleans before heading to London for a couple of months.
Adam Jones finds Cooper as a famous chef whose wild style and daring way around menus has led to him becoming a rock star in the kitchen. But his crazy, partying personality starts to undermine him, especially when he has a shot at his own restaurant and an elusive third Michelin star.
Thurman’s role hasn’t been specifically revealed, but we do know she’s playing Helene in the film. Sienna Miller is already aboard for the movie, which has a script from Locke’s Steven Knight. It should hit our screens next year.
James White

Uma Thurman Joins Adam Jones
AKA Bradley Cooper’s chef drama…

With the film starting shooting this week, Bradley Cooper’s new project, once named Chef, has secured a new title and some additional cast members. Uma Thurman, Jamie Dornan, Sam Keeley, Sarah Greene, Emma Thompson and Daniel Bruhl are all now set to enter the kitchen.

Thanks to Jon Favreau’s recent indie success story, Cooper’s movie is now called Adam Jones, after his character. John Wells is cranking the cameras now, kicking off in New Orleans before heading to London for a couple of months.

Adam Jones finds Cooper as a famous chef whose wild style and daring way around menus has led to him becoming a rock star in the kitchen. But his crazy, partying personality starts to undermine him, especially when he has a shot at his own restaurant and an elusive third Michelin star.

Thurman’s role hasn’t been specifically revealed, but we do know she’s playing Helene in the film. Sienna Miller is already aboard for the movie, which has a script from Locke’s Steven Knight. It should hit our screens next year.

James White

Comic-Con: Christopher Nolan Unveils Interstellar
Director’s surprise appearance heralds new information

He didn’t make it for Inception, nor for any of his Batman movies but, in the first big surprise of this year’s Comic-Con, Christopher Nolan made his Con debut today to introduce Interstellar at the Paramount presentation. “I heard a lot about this being the place where people are most passionate about pop culture and movies,” Nolan told the masses gathered in Hall H. “I thought it would be fun to come down and see what all the fuss is about.”

While far from pulling back the curtain on his secretive sci-fi project, the reticent director did talk about his motivations for making the film and the thought process that went into it. “I grew up in a time when to be an astronaut was the highest ambition. The idea that we’d keep exploring space, pushing farther and farther out, seemed inevitable. I felt that had fallen off greatly over the past couple of decades. I really like the idea that we’re on the cusp of a brand new era of exploration. I’m very much hoping that the experience we’re putting together will take the audience on that ride.”

Nolan also unveiled the as yet unreleased full trailer for the film, which finally begins to contextualise the story (far more than the oblique quotes and historical figures did in the initial teaser). From what we can gather the the world is in a pretty bad place thanks to the ravages of climate change and Matthew McConaughey’s Cooper is an engineer who, along with Anne Hathaway and a team of others, embarks on a mission to find another habitable planet to replace our dying Earth. As to the method of the search, Nolan dropped a hint by referencing the help of theoretical physicist Kip Thorne, whose studies tackle the existence of wormholes.

The footage, which basked in the visual majesty we expect from Nolan (and offers a tantalising glimpse of just how stunning this film will look when seen on IMAX) showed one or perhaps two alien landscapes, including a frozen tundra with craggy, ice-capped peaks that seemed to wrap around to form both terrain and firmament – not unlike the early dream sequence in Inception. As to what it all means though, Nolan wasn’t telling. “It’s about human beings, what it is to be human and what our place is in the universe.”

While Nolan (and McConaughey) were clearly the high point of the Paramount panel, there was certainly more on offer. A series of clips from Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles showed the heroes in a half-shell in all their glory, showcasing some of the action in store, which included the kind of over-the-top martial arts choreography that only CGI can offer. The dialogue was snappy, with Michelangelo in particular dropping a broad array of zingers and the somewhat sinister paramilitary Foot-soldiers are a welcome change from the faceless ninja-fodder of previous outings.

A short clip from Project Almanac followed, though with no context offered, anyone unfamiliar with the time-travelling adventure would have been left wondering what on Earth was actually going on. Afterwards, in a very welcome return to Comic-Con, The Rock dropped by to give Hercules a plug (it hits cinemas here in the US on Friday) and the trailer for Hot Tub Time Machine 2 was unveiled and you can watch the red band trailer for it below.

James Dyer

Empire’s Guardian’s Of the Galaxy Review

Plot

Kree terrorist Ronan The Accuser (Lee Pace) wants ‘the orb’ so he can trade it with Mad Titan Thanos (Josh Brolin) for destroying planet Xandar. But Ravager Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) finds it first, prompting his mentor (Michael Rooker) to put a bounty on his head. Meanwhile Quill, Ronan’s stooge Gamora (Zoe Saldana), bounty hunters Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and Groot (Vin Diesel), and convict Drax (Dave Bautista) join forces to sell the orb and defy Ronan.

Review

If you’re old enough to remember watching John-Boy from The Waltons fly a spaceship that looked like a massive pair of breasts on VHS, then there is plenty in Guardians Of The Galaxy for you. And if you’re young enough to accept without scoffing the sight of a talking raccoon wielding a heavy calibre weapon, then you’re in the right quadrant, too. No doubt keenly aware that this movie lacks even a smidgen of the brand awareness of its previous output, Marvel has savvily located its latest megabudget entertainment firmly in the Venn diagram overlap between Modern Innocence and ’80s Irony.

Battle Beyond The Stars, Flight Of The Navigator, Mike Hodges’ Flash Gordon, Back To The Future (2), Raiders Of The Lost Ark, Total Recall and a certain other space-based saga all donate their DNA, and Guardians isn’t about to apologise for replicating it. It’s proud of its heritage, dammit, right down its 1988-on-Earth prologue, “Awesome Mix” tape-cassette soundtrack, and scoundrel hero Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) describing the film’s spherical MacGuffin as having an “Ark Of The Covenant, Maltese Falcon vibe”.

Writer/director James Gunn (Slither, Super), true to his roots, even injects some fluoro-gungy Troma flavour making it all feel like Star Trek from a punked-up parallel reality where Gene Roddenberry was actually Lloyd Kaufman.

A good portion of the film is solid, set-based and (relatively speaking) grounded, avoiding the wispy daylight glow of pure-pixel backdrops. Gunn’s strengths are most evident during the central team-gathering sequence, where Quill, wiseacre raccoon-thing Rocket (voiced by Bradley Cooper), sentient tree Groot (voiced by Vin Diesel), green assassin Gamora (Saldana) and vengeful big baldie Drax (former pro-wrestler Dave Bautista) discover their synergistic power during a hugely enjoyable prison break, which somehow involves the removal of a prosthetic leg and its subsequent use as a weapon.

Gunn and co-writer Nicole Perlman keep things breezy and snappy (it’s the Marvel way now: snark over dark), importing the Avengers’ banter-bickering into the self-aware B-sci-fi setting; which, given the Joss Whedon connection, means this is also reminiscent of Firefly/Serenity. And Gunn’s cast appropriately, from reforming Parks And Recreation’s Andy as a buff galactic Lothario to having the voice of Face come from the face of a raccoon — while the pair enjoyably vie for the position of this film’s Han Solo. You’ll hear much about how either Groot or Rocket steal it — the bark-and-bite pairing certainly have their moments — but the big surprise is Bautista’s Drax. Cursed with a genetic inability to understand metaphors, the movie’s apparent muscleman actually has many of the film’s wittiest lines. (“Nothing goes over my head. My reflexes are too fast. I would catch it.”)

The antagonistic contingent, however, is less successful. Lee Pace’s Ronan, Djimon Hounsou’s Korath and Karen Gillan’s Nebula feel barely written, although the one-time Who companion looks fantastic with blue skin and shark eyes and exhibits a tight-focused anti-charisma in a thinly sketched part. And “phantom menace” Thanos (Josh Brolin) is an embarrassment: a lantern-jawed CG ’toon blessedly only given a minute or so of screentime.

As much as Guardians largely thrives through its lovably scuzzy style, it cannot avoid the immense tractor-beam pull of The Big Marvel Studios Final Act. Only a few months ago, reviewing Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Empire exhibited frustration at yet another climax which involved a frantic sky battle, culminating in a giant object crashing to the ground. Well here we have yet another. There is even a replay of Thor: The Dark World’s CG-drenched Infinity Stone struggle, although now it’s purple swirly stuff rather than red. For all the digital artistry on display, these Marvel final set-pieces are becoming suggestive of a climax-by-committee default mode.

Still, Gunn thankfully pulls the film back onto its own turf once the big fight’s over. And Guardians Of The Galaxy does expand the breadth and diversity of the Marvel Universe; we go beyond superheroes and threats to Earth. It also proves how even a kid raised by Troma in the filmmaking badlands can succeed in Blockbuster City.

Verdict

Colourful, tongue-in-cheek fun, purpose-built for grown-up lovers of kitsch ’80s science-fiction. But the Marvel formula is starting to feel, well, a little too formulaic.

4 STARS Dan Jolin

Fresh Avengers: Age Of Ultron Concept Art
Updated! Now with Black Widow and Captain America

Comic-Con kicked off last night with the usual Wednesday preview of the exhibition hall. Among the freebies made available to attendees were some nifty new concept art posters from Avengers: Age Of Ultron, featuring Scarlet Witch in action, Iron Man battling the titular menace and now Black Widow prodding robotic buttock.

With Marvel expected to put on its usual big show this coming Saturday (with additional panels for the company’s ever-expanding universe of TV shows and more), it is naturally trying to keep Joss Whedon’s superhero sequel front and centre in fans’ imaginations – not that it really needs much help.

The film finds Iron Man, Thor, Cap and the rest a little weary of constantly having to save the day, so Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) hits upon the idea of a robotic police force led by super-smart artificial intelligence Ultron (voiced and performed in the film by James Spader). There’s just one teeny snag with his plan: once Ultron becomes self-aware, he determines that humanity is the biggest threat to world peace and promptly sets out to wipe us from the face of the planet. Combating his plan, of course, requires the combined efforts of the Avengers.

With Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Scarlett Johansson, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Andy Serkis and Jeremy Renner all among the cast, Avengers: Age Of Ultron lands here next year.

James White

Comic-Con: First Look At Home & Penguins Of MadagascarThe Con kicks off with Dreamworks Animation panel
The first panel of the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con kicked off this morning with Dreamworks Animation’s Hall H presentation. Starting the proceedings was a first-look clip from Tim Johnson’s Home, featuring the voice of The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons as Oh, a bumbling alien from a race known as the Boov. When his people invade and take over Earth as their new permanent residence, the banished Oh teams up with Rihanna (in the guise of human girl, Tip) to save the world.
The clip took place after the Boov have settled in to their new digs, in this instance the roomy rues of gay Paris, the Eiffel Tower having been rechristened The Great Antenna and floating it above the city on an inverted dome of rock like a French iteration of Warcraft’s Dalaran. Tip and Oh are surrounded by the Boovian army, led by Steve Martin’s megalomaniacal general and a botched execution, a hectic chase in alien bubble cars and the wanton destruction of the Parisian suburbs soon follow. The standout, unsurprisingly, is Parsons’ Oh, lending more than a touch of Dr Sheldon Cooper to his alien antics.
Perhaps more anticipated, though, was the second unveiling, Penguins Of Madagascar, bringing a grand total of four clips from the upcoming spin-off movie. The first being the birds’ infiltration of Fort Knox, featuring an inspired subterfuge gag with the penguins rolling across a zebra crossing. The second introducing John Malkovich’s evil octopus, Dr Octavius Brine (aka Dave), the next featuring an all-action chase through the canalways of Venice as the three avians are pursued by a trio of deadly octopodes, before Benedict Cumberbatch’s crack team of arctic avengers, The North Wind, swoop in to save the day. The fourth unveiled Dave’s master plan in a communique to The North Wind HQ. To give it away would be a spoiler but suffice it to say it involves something called Medusa Serum. For veteran Madagascans, the concern here would be that the Penguins gag, while scene-stealing in a supporting role, might wear a little thin stretched over a dedicated feature. Happily, from what we’ve scene the gags come fast and funny, broadening the comedy beyond the slightly single-note comedy of their appearances in previous films. All of which bodes well for the finished picture, out in December. 
James Dyer

Comic-Con: First Look At Home & Penguins Of Madagascar
The Con kicks off with Dreamworks Animation panel

The first panel of the 2014 San Diego Comic-Con kicked off this morning with Dreamworks Animation’s Hall H presentation. Starting the proceedings was a first-look clip from Tim Johnson’s Home, featuring the voice of The Big Bang Theory’s Jim Parsons as Oh, a bumbling alien from a race known as the Boov. When his people invade and take over Earth as their new permanent residence, the banished Oh teams up with Rihanna (in the guise of human girl, Tip) to save the world.

The clip took place after the Boov have settled in to their new digs, in this instance the roomy rues of gay Paris, the Eiffel Tower having been rechristened The Great Antenna and floating it above the city on an inverted dome of rock like a French iteration of Warcraft’s Dalaran. Tip and Oh are surrounded by the Boovian army, led by Steve Martin’s megalomaniacal general and a botched execution, a hectic chase in alien bubble cars and the wanton destruction of the Parisian suburbs soon follow. The standout, unsurprisingly, is Parsons’ Oh, lending more than a touch of Dr Sheldon Cooper to his alien antics.

Perhaps more anticipated, though, was the second unveiling, Penguins Of Madagascar, bringing a grand total of four clips from the upcoming spin-off movie. The first being the birds’ infiltration of Fort Knox, featuring an inspired subterfuge gag with the penguins rolling across a zebra crossing. The second introducing John Malkovich’s evil octopus, Dr Octavius Brine (aka Dave), the next featuring an all-action chase through the canalways of Venice as the three avians are pursued by a trio of deadly octopodes, before Benedict Cumberbatch’s crack team of arctic avengers, The North Wind, swoop in to save the day. The fourth unveiled Dave’s master plan in a communique to The North Wind HQ. To give it away would be a spoiler but suffice it to say it involves something called Medusa Serum.

For veteran Madagascans, the concern here would be that the Penguins gag, while scene-stealing in a supporting role, might wear a little thin stretched over a dedicated feature. Happily, from what we’ve scene the gags come fast and funny, broadening the comedy beyond the slightly single-note comedy of their appearances in previous films. All of which bodes well for the finished picture, out in December. 

James Dyer

Comic-Con: New Image Of Ben Affleck As Batman RevealedCheck out the Batdimples on Bruce
Even if he doesn’t look a day over 40, Batman turns 75 this year - and to mark the occasion, a new picture of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader has been unveiled.
The picture was first released at the DC booth on the main floor at Comic-Con, but it’s just been tweeted by Zack Snyder, director of the forthcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. And while it doesn’t give away much more than the first picture of Batfleck, which debuted a few months back, this one is a) in colour and b) gives us a sense that this Batman boasts a chin that could give Bruce Campbell sleepless nights.
At present, the Warner Bros. panel at Comic-Con is scheduled for Saturday, and we’re told that there will be no Dawn Of Justice presence there. But it is Batman’s birthday, after all - and while we’re not expecting The Joker to burst out of a cake on stage, it’s hard to imagine that DC/Warners wouldn’t show up with something.
Also, Dwayne Johnson has just tweeted a picture of Superman fighting other DC characters Captain Marvel (it’s complicated) and Black Adam, saying ‘someone’s gonna get it’. So, is this confirmation that The Rock is going to join the DC Movie Universe, as he’s been strongly hinting for a while now? And if so, as which character? Perhaps all will be revealed on Saturday at the Warners panel. 
What are your thoughts of the second image of Affleck’s Batman?
Ben Kirby

Comic-Con: New Image Of Ben Affleck As Batman Revealed
Check out the Batdimples on Bruce

Even if he doesn’t look a day over 40, Batman turns 75 this year - and to mark the occasion, a new picture of Ben Affleck as the Caped Crusader has been unveiled.

The picture was first released at the DC booth on the main floor at Comic-Con, but it’s just been tweeted by Zack Snyder, director of the forthcoming Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice. And while it doesn’t give away much more than the first picture of Batfleck, which debuted a few months back, this one is a) in colour and b) gives us a sense that this Batman boasts a chin that could give Bruce Campbell sleepless nights.

At present, the Warner Bros. panel at Comic-Con is scheduled for Saturday, and we’re told that there will be no Dawn Of Justice presence there. But it is Batman’s birthday, after all - and while we’re not expecting The Joker to burst out of a cake on stage, it’s hard to imagine that DC/Warners wouldn’t show up with something.

Also, Dwayne Johnson has just tweeted a picture of Superman fighting other DC characters Captain Marvel (it’s complicated) and Black Adam, saying ‘someone’s gonna get it’. So, is this confirmation that The Rock is going to join the DC Movie Universe, as he’s been strongly hinting for a while now? And if so, as which character? Perhaps all will be revealed on Saturday at the Warners panel. 

What are your thoughts of the second image of Affleck’s Batman?

Ben Kirby

New Warcraft Logo Revealed
Duncan Jones’ video game adaptation has a fresh look

As this year’s San Diego Comic-Con gears up, one of the more hotly anticipated titles is Duncan Jones’ cinematic take on the sprawling online multiplayer game World Of Warcraft. Legendary Pictures has a booth set up on the convention floor with the new title displayed, which you can see below, as well as the cleaner version as revealed on Twitter.

Though the film only recently wrapped shooting and is headed into a long post-production process, we’re still hopeful that Jones will bring something to show, especially given last year’s surprise test footage.

Much of the exact plot remains a mystery, though we do now know that Ben Foster is playing a magic-user named Medivh who must return to help his fellow humans when Orc hordes invade. We’re promised a balanced look at both sides of the conflict, but with so many possibilities from the massive game, it could explore any aspect. Expect to learn more once the panel happens on Saturday.

With Paula Patton, Toby Kebbell, Travis Fimmel, Dominic Cooper, Clancy Brown and Callum Keith Rennie also in the cast, Warcraft will be out on March 11, 2016. Which means Jones and co. might even be back next year with more…

James White

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Launches A New PosterGraffiti hits Comic-Con
Given the sheer number of new banners and posters put out for Comic-Con, it takes something to stand out from the pack. The team behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has dipped back into a well the franchise has been to before, commissioning an artist to design something fresh.

In this case, the work comes from WK Interact and boasts a striking blend of graphic novel, graffiti and perhaps just a hit of Banksy. Directed by Francis Lawrence and adapted by Danny Strong from Suzanne Collins’ third novel,The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 make up the third and fourth instalments of heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decide for herself whom she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.
With Lawrence back as Katniss surrounded by fellow veterans Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin and Woody Harrelson plus franchise newcomers Julianne Moore, Lily Rabe, Natalie Dormer and Robert Knepper, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 flies into cinemas on November 21, followed by Part 2 on November 20 2015.
James White

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 Launches A New Poster
Graffiti hits Comic-Con

Given the sheer number of new banners and posters put out for Comic-Con, it takes something to stand out from the pack. The team behind The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 has dipped back into a well the franchise has been to before, commissioning an artist to design something fresh.

In this case, the work comes from WK Interact and boasts a striking blend of graphic novel, graffiti and perhaps just a hit of Banksy. 
Directed by Francis Lawrence and adapted by Danny Strong from Suzanne Collins’ third novel,The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 & 2 make up the third and fourth instalments of heroine Katniss Everdeen’s journey as she leads the districts of Panem in a rebellion against the tyrannical and corrupt Capitol. As the war that will determine the fate of Panem escalates, Katniss must decide for herself whom she can trust and what needs to be done, with everything she cares for in the balance.

With Lawrence back as Katniss surrounded by fellow veterans Josh Hutcherson, Liam Hemsworth, Sam Claflin and Woody Harrelson plus franchise newcomers Julianne Moore, Lily Rabe, Natalie Dormer and Robert Knepper, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 flies into cinemas on November 21, followed by Part 2 on November 20 2015.

James White

Twisted Twins Attack Painkiller JaneSoska Sisters adapting cult comic
Previously pegged as horror directors thanks to the gnarly Dead Hooker In A Trunk and the freaky American Mary, “Twisted Twins” Jen and Sylvia Soska have recently shifted gears to action filmmaking with their Vendetta for WWE Studios. They’re sticking with action for their next project, having signed on for Painkiller Jane, adapted from the ’90s Event Comics series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada.
Jane Vasko first appeared in print in 1995, and already has a tortuous continuity giving her multiple origin stories. In one, as an undercover cop, she believed she had gained the trust of Mafia boss Joey Fonti, but was duped into delivering a “message” to a rival mobster that turned out to be a bomb that took her with it. She was then mysteriously revived after the explosion with high pain tolerance and Wolverine-like regenerative abilities. Another version has her tortured and drugged rather than blown up, leading to the same results. Either way, she ends up a quick-healing vigilante bad-ass who’s Hard To Kill.
She’s been on screen before, in a 2005 TV movie (where the bad guys were Chechnyan rebels and her powers came from a biochemical weapon) and a 2007 SyFy series (where she discovers she’s a mutant after being thrown from a building). In the film she was played by Emmanuelle Vaugier and renamed Jane Browning. In the 22-episode series she was called Vasko again and brought to life by Kristianna Loken.
The comics have also continued, most recently published by Dynamite. Crossovers have seen her teamed up with The Punisher, Hellboy, Vampirella and The Terminator.
There’s no casting for the new version yet, but Painkiller Jane seems a perfect fit for the Soska Sisters’ patented brand of female-centric extreme violence. Palmiotti himself is among the producers.
The twins’ Vendetta recently finished shooting, and their See No Evil 2 (another WWE film) is already in the can, so they’ll presumably be getting to Jane sooner rather than later.
Owen Williams

Twisted Twins Attack Painkiller Jane
Soska Sisters adapting cult comic

Previously pegged as horror directors thanks to the gnarly Dead Hooker In A Trunk and the freaky American Mary, “Twisted Twins” Jen and Sylvia Soska have recently shifted gears to action filmmaking with their Vendetta for WWE Studios. They’re sticking with action for their next project, having signed on for Painkiller Jane, adapted from the ’90s Event Comics series by Jimmy Palmiotti and Joe Quesada.

Jane Vasko first appeared in print in 1995, and already has a tortuous continuity giving her multiple origin stories. In one, as an undercover cop, she believed she had gained the trust of Mafia boss Joey Fonti, but was duped into delivering a “message” to a rival mobster that turned out to be a bomb that took her with it. She was then mysteriously revived after the explosion with high pain tolerance and Wolverine-like regenerative abilities. Another version has her tortured and drugged rather than blown up, leading to the same results. Either way, she ends up a quick-healing vigilante bad-ass who’s Hard To Kill.

She’s been on screen before, in a 2005 TV movie (where the bad guys were Chechnyan rebels and her powers came from a biochemical weapon) and a 2007 SyFy series (where she discovers she’s a mutant after being thrown from a building). In the film she was played by Emmanuelle Vaugier and renamed Jane Browning. In the 22-episode series she was called Vasko again and brought to life by Kristianna Loken.

The comics have also continued, most recently published by Dynamite. Crossovers have seen her teamed up with The Punisher, Hellboy, Vampirella and The Terminator.

There’s no casting for the new version yet, but Painkiller Jane seems a perfect fit for the Soska Sisters’ patented brand of female-centric extreme violence. Palmiotti himself is among the producers.

The twins’ Vendetta recently finished shooting, and their See No Evil 2 (another WWE film) is already in the can, so they’ll presumably be getting to Jane sooner rather than later.

Owen Williams