MANILA — Arjo Atayde is set to introduce to a new generation the elusive “Cattleya Killer,” as he stars in ABS-CBN’s retelling of the 1996 film “Sa Aking Mga Kamay.”
The Star Cinema thriller will be adapted as a series, “The Rebirth of the Cattleya Killer,” under ABS-CBN International Production and Co-Production, with Dan Villegas as director.
The ABS-CBN division is the same group behind the local production of “Almost Paradise,” the first US TV series to be entirely set in the Philippines and co-produced by Hollywood’s Electric Entertainment.
In “The Rebirth of the Cattleya Killer,” Atayde will portray the role originated by Aga Muhlach, a charismatic man who is revealed to be a serial killer preying on unfaithful wives, placing a cattleya flower on their bodies as his signature.
“He has a proven track-record of giving justice to the diverse roles he has portrayed through the years,” Ruel S. Bayani, head of ABS-CBN’s international production arm, said of Atayde.
“His depth and range as an actor will definitely give a fresh take on this 1996 classic.”
Atayde brought pride to the country in December 2020, when he won best actor in the Asian Academy Creative Awards for his lead role in iWantTFC’s “Bagman.”
“First of all, ABS-CBN never fails to surprise me all the time with all these characters,” Atayde said. “It’s one hell of a story. It’s one hell of a character, and it’s not normally done here. This is one of the most powerful stories that they’re going to tell. I am proud to be part of it. Hopefully, ‘The Cattleya Killer’ could be one if not the possible door to ABS-CBN stepping into the foreign industry.”
The acclaimed actor, who has portrayed varied characters, from romantic lead to eccentric villain, relishes taking on yet another challenging role.
“I just always want something different. I don’t like doing the same thing. I just want to tell stories that have to be heard, that have to be told,” he told ABS-CBN News.
Asked how he sees expectations attached to his being an internationally recognized actor, Atayde said that the pressure to perform well has always been rooted in himself, not from external perception.
“Ang pinaka pressure is myself as I build my character. How far could I push myself, how far could I go for this? Will I be able to do it? The questions are in my head, more than the people.
“Before ko unahin ‘yung iniisip ng mga tao, unahin ko muna ‘yung sarili ko, kung kaya ko ba, magagawa ko ba. Gawan ko muna ng paraan. That’s my way of working with pressure, with expectations,” he said.
The premiere date and platforms of “The Rebirth of the Cattleya Killer” have yet to be announced. Its all-star cast will be introduced in the coming months.
The project is one of the chosen participants in the 2021 Full Circle Series Lab, a talent development program led by Matthieu Darras and Izabela Igel with the Film Development Council of the Philippines. It was selected alongside concepts from other countries in Southeast Asia.