MANILA – It's final: Angel Locsin will no longer fly as the Filipina superhero Darna in Star Cinema's movie adaptation of the Mars Ravelo-created character.
Star Cinema managing director Malou Santos confirmed the sad news in an interview with ABS-CBN News reporter MJ Felipe on Monday, citing health reasons.
"Sobrang nalungkot kasi nung una, nung nalaman namin na mayroon siyang problema sa likod, sinabihan na namin siya na she cannot play Darna. But, because deep in our hearts na siya lang ang pwedeng maging Darna, we gave her the chance and she promised to do the therapy na magpapagaling siya para sa kanyang likod," Santos said.
"Pero unfortunately, three weeks ago, nakaramdam na naman siya ng pain sa likod. So ito na ang pinaka-final verdict na she cannot play Darna kasi mas importante ang buhay niya kaysa sa pelikula na Darna. So ang iisipin ko na lang at least napatunayan niya 'yung dedikasyon niya sa craft niya," Santos added.
ABS-CBN president and CEO Carlo Katigbak assured Locsin's fans that they can still expect to see their idol in other projects.
"We were very sad and disappointed about this latest development but, of course, 'yung safety and health ni Angel is our No. 1 priority. She's still one of our biggest stars so marami pa siyang gagawin sa ABS-CBN bilang isang Kapamilya," he said.
Director Erik Matti also stressed that he and Star Cinema are just after the welfare of Locsin.
"Okay naman si Angel ngayon. It's just that 'yung project kasi entails a lot of physical requirement from the actor. There's going to be harness, a lot of flight. Medyo ayaw din naming mag-risk kasi kawawa siya," Matti said.
"Sayang lang because she would have been really good as Darna."
The announcement was made more than a year after Locsin backed out from doing the project after her spine was damaged.
For her part, Locsin said she has already accepted the fact the she can no longer play Darna as she called on her fans to support the new Darna.
"Kailangan ko lang isipin ang buhay ko muna, kasi hindi po ako pinayagan ng doktor ko. Pero I tried, ABS-CBN tried, pero may mga bagay na kailangang i-let go para sa mas makakabuti. Ako tanggap ko na. Sana maintindihan din ng mga tao na hindi ko na magagawa ang Darna," Locsin said.
The actress also gave her message to all her fans.
"Sana maintinidhan niyo kami, hindi po madali. Alam kong nilaban niyo ito pero kailangan na siguro natin talaga na harapin ang katotohanan at mag-move on sa magandang mangyayari. So maraming, maraming salamat. 'Di ko makakalimutan ang suportang ibinigay niyo sa akin at suporahan natin ang susunod na magiging Darna," she said,
Since her 1950 comic book debut, Darna has been played by over several actresses on TV and in films.
In the original lore, Darna is a warrior from Planet Marte who manifests herself in a village girl from Earth named Narda.
In order to transform into the heroine and defend humans from evil forces, Narda swallows a tiny meteorite and shouts "Darna!" -- a small scene which has since been embedded in local pop culture.
Locsin has already played Darna on television in 2005. The most recent TV incarnation of Darna is actress Marian Rivera, who appeared in a 2009 series on GMA-7.