MANILA — After three high-profile exits from the “Darna” film project, is director Jerrold Tarog following suit?
This was the question directed at the acclaimed filmmaker on Thursday, following the announcement of Liza Soberano’s withdrawal from the movie that would have seen her as the komiks icon.
Soberano backed out due to medical reasons, particularly because of a fractured finger that significantly limits the stunts she can perform as required of the superhero role.
Prior to Soberano, whose casting was announced in May 2018, Angel Locsin had been on board since 2014 to reprise the character. She, however, had to withdraw from the project due to a back injury which she continues to have therapy for.
Tarog, meanwhile, officially became part of “Darna” in October 2018. He replaced original director Erik Matti, who departed from the project due to “creative differences” with producer Star Cinema.
“First it was Angel, then Direk Matti, and now Liza,” tweeted one fan, tagging Tarog’s account on Thursday. “Aantayin kong si Direk Tarog ang mag-resign.”
Responding to the tweet, Tarog wrote: “Hindi naman. Busy pa din kami. They informed me about Liza’s decision weeks ago. I was quite sad about it, but her health is more important. Abangan niyo na lang kung sino ang bagong Darna.”
As recently as November 2018, when Soberano was still attached to the role, she said creative revisions were underway under Tarog.
Tarog, best known for his breakout film “Heneral Luna” and its sequel “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral,” has said he is taking off from a draft that was penned by Matti’s team.
Star Cinema, in its statement announcing Soberano’s exit, clarified that preparations for the “Darna” film continue, and that the selection process for the new actress has started.