MANILA — The big-screen adaptation of Mars Ravelo’s “Darna” will push through, producer Star Cinema clarified Thursday, despite the withdrawal of its lead star Liza Soberano due to medical reasons.
In a statement, the ABS-CBN Films company said preparations for the film project continue, as it remains “fully committed in telling the well-loved story of the Filipina superheroine.”
With Soberano’s exit, Star Cinema said it has “started the selection process for the new actress who will bring the iconic character to life on the big screen.”
Soberano, who was introduced as the actress to portray Darna’s millennial iteration in May 2017, cited the physical hindrances of her fractured right index finger as the reason behind her withdrawal.
The injury, which was the result of an accident on the set of “Bagani,” will require a third surgery and continued therapy, according to Soberano.
In its statement, Star Cinema said: “Unfortunately, after consultation with her doctors, it was deemed best for Liza not to pursue the project as the injury shall hamper her from effectively doing the movie stunts required.
“ABS-CBN and Star Cinema understand Liza’s condition, respect her decision, and wish her well on her recovery.”
The casting of Soberano as Darna followed the exit of Angel Locsin from the same movie project, which was first announced in 2014. Locsin, who previously portrayed the superheroine in a TV series, similarly had to back out because of an injury.
Soberano had started filming scenes as Narda, Darna’s human alter ego, in July 2018 — when the project was still being helmed by Erik Matti.
Matti withdrew from the project in October 2018 due to “creative differences” with Star Cinema, which then tapped “Heneral Luna” director Jerrold Tarog to spearhead the superhero movie.