MANILA -- There was much celebration (and curiosity) on social media over the casting of a relatively unknown actress as Darna -- a positive sign, some say, of the confidence Star Cinema has in the story that it was willing to set aside the usual formula of having big names banner projects such as this one.
But perhaps few were happier about the news than the director himself, Jerrold Tarog, who revealed that the decision to select Jane De Leon over more than 200 other women who auditioned was "unanimous."
Finding the new Darna means that production can finally proceed. "Glad it's finally out," Tarrog said.
He added on Twitter: "The execs wanted a new face for Darna and I was all for it. The short list was a good mix but ultimately it was about who could carry the role."
According to Tarog, theose who auditioned were cut down to a shortlist of just seven.
Johnny "Mr. M" Manahan, the chairman of Star Magic, the agency handling De Leon's career, said that he has always believed in De Leon's "quiet confidence and mastery in her performances."
"When I found out about the auditions, I made sure she went and now, we couldn't be prouder that the next actress to breathe life to this iconic heroine is coming from our fold," he said.
"I'm happy that she will be able to showcase her skills to a wider audience through Darna."
There's no word yet on when De Leon will start filming scenes for the "Darna" movie, but auditions were announced this Thursday for those looking to be part of the film as the young Narda.