MANILA — Acclaimed filmmaker Antoinette Jadaone would rather wait to mount “The Soulmate Project” without filming restrictions amid a raging pandemic, instead of scaling down the series’ original vision.
Jadaone, who is writing and helming the ABS-CBN series starring James Reid and Nancy McDonie, shared on Thursday where the project currently stands since it was first unveiled to wide anticipation in late 2019.
“Ang makakasagot niyan ‘yung Dreamscape, because they’re the ones in charge of the production. Hinihintay ko lang ‘yung go signal nila,” Jadaone said, referring to Dreamscape Entertainment, the ABS-CBN production unit behind “FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano” and “The General’s Daughter.”
The 13-part series is set in a version of the Philippines where its government enacts a law that matches citizens with their soulmates, under the fictional Republic Act 143, or The Soulmate Project, according to a sneak peek of its script released last year.
Reid portrays Jayson, from Tondo, Manila, who gets picked by the government for a third-batch implementation of the law. McDonie, meanwhile, is Binna, a Korean-American who lives in the Philippines.
The story is also partly set in South Korea, McDonie previously said.
“‘The Soulmate Project’ is set not in a pandemic,” Jadaone pointed out. “It’s not meant to be shot during the pandemic na 70 people lang ‘yung puwede sa set.”
Existing new-normal protocol include “lock-in” filming, where cast and crew are quarantined at the shooting location; and the prohibition of elaborate crowd scenes.
“Ayoko siyang i-revise, i-scale down just to fit the safety protocols. Feeling ko magiging iba ‘yung kalalabasan ‘pag ipilit natin sa ganoon,” Jadaone said.
The cast and crew of “The Soulmate Project” had started work on the series in February 2020, with Reid and McDonie undergoing look tests, workshops, and site immersion — until the pandemic prevented further progress.
It was nonetheless included in Dreamscape Entertainment’s omnibus trailer that enumerated its 2021 offerings, indicating that the project was still part of its production slate, as of December 2020.