Richard Yap as Sir Chief and Jodi Sta. Maria as Maya in 'Be Careful With My Heart.' Photo: Handout
MANILA -- The highly anticipated film version of the "kilig-serye" starring Jodi Sta. Maria and Richard Yap is no longer competing in this year's Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), organizers announced Thursday.
"Be Careful With My Heart: The Movie" has been withdrawn as an entry to the annual event, according to Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairperson Francis Tolentino.
Speaking with radio dzMM's Dennis Datu, Tolentino said he received Star Cinema's letter formalizing the withdrawal on Thursday afternoon.
The ABS-CBN film production outfit, in its letter, explained that the decision to pull out the movie is due to the "tight schedule" of the cast and crew of "Be Careful With My Heart" in shooting the ongoing series.
Directed by Jeffrey Jeturian, who also helms the daytime soap, "Be Careful With My Heart: The Movie" was billed as the continuation of the love story of Maya (Sta. Maria) and Sir Chief (Yap) as seen on television.
Sta. Maria, in an earlier interview, explained that the series was to end temporarily to lead in to the movie version, with the story resuming on TV after the annual film fest.
It is unclear whether Star Cinema will still push through with the production of the film on a later date, after the MMFF.
According to Tolentino, the slot of "Be Careful With My Heart: The Movie" is now vacated, which means a film among those that have been submitted as early this year may be tapped to complete the eight-film line-up in time for the festival's Christmas Day opening.
The withdrawal of "Be Careful With My Heart" from the 39th MMFF is the latest shake-up among the official entries to the annual event.
Director Joyce Bernal was originally credited to helm the Kris Aquino-produced "Torky and My Little Bossing," but eventually had to pick the Robin Padilla-starrer "10,000 Hours" over the comedy film.
As per MMFF rules, a participating director can only helm one competing project.
Lead roles in two other entries have also undergone a recast, with Sam Milby replacing Piolo Pascual in "Kimmy Dora: Ang Kiyemeng Prequel," and Rocco Nacino replacing JM de Guzman in "San Pedro Calungsod: Batang Martir."
Gabby Concepcion was likewise originally attached to co-star in the Wenn Deramas comedy film "Girl, Boy, Bakla, Tomboy," but has since been replaced by Joey Marquez.
Before "Be Careful With My Heart: The Movie," the film entry starring Bong Revilla, "My Super Kap," was also pulled out from the MMFF, citing the conflicting schedules of leading ladies Toni Gonzaga and Ai Ai delas Alas.