What to expect from new Darna film

By Patrick Camara Ropeta, ABS-CBN Europe News Bureau

Posted at Jun 30 2014 07:15 PM | Updated as of Jul 01 2014 07:17 AM

Angel Locsin

LONDON -- It’s been a few months since Star Cinema confirmed the development of a new “Darna" film, and now its director Erik Matti teased fans with a brief description of the movie’s concept.

“I just read a sequence treatment for Darna today,” Matti told ABS-CBN Europe at the recemt Terracotta Far East Film Festival in London, where his films “On The Job” and “Tik Tik: The Aswang Chronicles” were being showcased.

Details of the film are still being developed, but when asked to describe their ideas so far, the director said they are trying to achieve a “very modern take on a female superhero” with a strong sense of “women empowerment.”

“We want something very progressive,” he said. “It’s not everyday that we get to do superhero films that have a female lead. We’re trying to work with the idea of women empowerment and all those things.”

The iconic Filipina character is one of only a few female leads in the superhero universe, and one that has been adapted many times from its original comic book form to numerous films and television shows since the 1950s.

“That’s why I wanted to be part of it. To somehow do a take on it and reimagine the whole superhero story,” said Matti, who is best known for his international crossover hit “On The Job,” which gained a standing ovation at the Cannes Film Festival last year.

“We’re trying to push what we can do with a superhero film,” he explained. “There’s definitely a lot of heart in it, but at the same time we’re going to employ a lot of technology, pushing all the things we know about how to let Darna fly and all those things”

The critically acclaimed director said he has been working on Darna since September last year, but he was coy about revealing any further details at this stage. He was happy to confirm, however, that fan favourite Angel Locsin is still attached to the project for the titular role that kick-started her acting career back in 2005.

Donning the trademark red and gold ensemble once again, Locsin is among a long line of women to take on the iconic role, from seasoned actresses Vilma Santos and Lorna Tolentino, to 90s starlets Nanette Medved and Anjanette Abayari, and more recently Regine Velasquez and Marian Rivera.

The new Darna film, based on the character created by writer Mars Ravelo and artist Nestor Redondo, is being developed under Star Cinema and is expected to start shooting later this year.