MANILA — A new film starring screen superstars Kathryn Bernardo and Daniel Padilla is in the works, director Cathy Garcia-Molina has confirmed, teasing that the offering will be “very different” from past titles of the long-time couple.
Garcia-Molina discussed her upcoming projects Tuesday on the sidelines of the media conference of “Partners In Crime,” the Vice Ganda and Ivana Alawi starrer which marks the filmmaker's first foray into comedy.
The Star Cinema and Viva Films co-production is an entry in the 48th Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which kicks off Christmas Day.
“Definitely, ‘yung KathNiel,” she said, when asked what her followers can expect from her after “Partners In Crime.”
The film project, which has yet to be officially announced by ABS-CBN Films, is planned to start production in the first quarter of 2023, according to Garcia-Molina, ideally before she marks a personal milestone.
“Dapat naka-slate siya sa January, first quarter dapat, before I get married in April. January dapat gagawin ‘yung KathNiel. Ewan ko kung ano ang mangyayari,” she said.
The box-office director, who has been a frequent collaborator of Bernardo and Padilla on the small and big screens, gave a resounding “no” when asked if their reunion will be a romantic-comedy, their common forte.
“No,” she emphasized. “The KathNiel movie is very different. It’s something new and we’re all very excited for KathNiel. Basta, kakaiba! Nanggaling sa aming lahat [na hindi ito gawing romcom], aside from gusto rin nila na makitang bago naman sila.”
Garcia-Molina has directed Bernardo and Padilla as a screen pair in five major titles since 2013 — the romcom series “Got to Believe,” the romcom movie “She’s Dating the Gangster,” the romance drama series “Pangako Sa ‘Yo,” the supernatural drama series “La Luna Sangre,” and the romance drama film “The Hows of Us.”
She went on to direct Bernardo in two other movies: “Three Words to Forever” and “Hello, Love, Goodbye.”
While romance will still play a part in the upcoming movie, Garcia-Molina reiterated that the material will be a fresh undertaking for Bernardo and Padilla, who have been reel and real-life partners for a decade.
“Ako, super excited,” the filmmaker told ABS-CBN News. “It’s also not my turf. Of course, there’s love. Hindi mo naman matatanggal ang love story. Pero there’s so much more than that. They’re going to be very… Mas mature, hindi lang sila as characters but ‘yung kuwento, and even I think the direction.”
Garcia-Molina also clarified that the movie is not related to “After Forever,” her film project also with Bernardo and Padilla that was announced in February 2020. The Star Cinema title was due to start filming in San Francisco later that year, but the coronavirus pandemic prevented any progress.
“Hindi na ‘After Forever,’” she said. “‘After Forever’ cannot be done unless it’s in the US. That story was specifically made para sa shoot sa US. And since hindi pa tayo ganoon ka-clear pagdating sa international shoots, ito, dito tayo. This is very exciting. I’m very excited.”
ANOTHER WITH VICE?
Aside from her reunion with KathNiel, Garcia-Molina revealed that another “Rebisco movie” is in the offing — her fourth after “Four Sisters and a Wedding,” “Seven Sundays,” and “Three Words to Forever.” The snack brand has been partnering with Star Cinema on films about family since 2013.
Even farther ahead, Garcia-Molina said she is open to the possibility of teaming up again with Vice Ganda, given her experience of working with the comedy superstar for the first time in “Partners In Crime.”
“Si Vice Ganda at ako, on the side lang, nag-uusap kami, ‘So, Me, ano’ng susunod natin?’ May ganoon na kami! Sabi ko, ‘Me, sa susunod agahan natin ang shoot.’ ‘Direk, January gusto mo?’” she recalled, laughing.
“Siguro, the process was enjoyed by us, that’s why there’s a possibility of another one and another one. Ganoon naman. ‘Pag nagugustuhan mo, ‘pag nag-i-enjoy ka, lalo na kung tatangkilikin ng mga tao, all the more we have reasons to do it again and make people happier. As long as we serve the audience, make them laugh, by all means, I will say yes again.”
Approaching the Christmas play date of “Partners In Crime,” Garcia-Molina is admittedly apprehensive about how the Filipino audience will receive her take on comedy.
“Kasi ‘pag romcom, kahit paano, alam ng audience ang expectations ‘pag pumasok sila sa pelikula ko. This time, feeling ko, medyo merong pag-wonder — ‘Ano ba ang papanoorin ko: isa bang Cathy Garcia-Molina o isang Vice Ganda film?’ Both. So ano bang klaseng pelikulang ang ‘both,’ ang combination?
“At the end of the day, natatakot lang akong lumabas sila sa sinehan na hindi nila alam kung ano ang pinanood nila. Iyon ang pressure. Pero, ako, natutuwa na pareho pala kami ni Vice na, ‘Sige, pasaya lang tayo ng tao.’ That’s what we’re here for.”