JERROLD Tarog, of “Heneral Luna” and “Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral” fame, has replaced Erik Matti as the director of “Darna,” starring Liza Soberano as the iconic female hero.
The announcement was made this Friday, a day after Matti left the project, citing “creative differences” with producer Star Cinema.
Erik Matti confirmed on Thursday that he has resigned as the director of the highly anticipated “Darna” movie, in a statement that also included a message to its lead star, Liza Soberano.
Matti, the director behind the acclaimed films “On the Job” and “BuyBust,” released the statement on Instagram Thursday night, hours after ABS-CBN Films’ Star Cinema announced his departure from the project.
“As it has been announced, I have officially resigned from the movie ‘Darna.’ It’s been 5 years and how I wish I could have finished it after all the hard work that went into preparing and putting it together. Unfortunately, things didn’t work out ideally for both parties,” the filmmaker wrote.
Star Cinema first announced its “Darna” adaptation in 2014, with Matti as director, and, at the time, Angel Locsin as the titular superheroine. Locsin, who portrayed the “komiks” icon in a 2005 TV series, had to give up the role in 2017 due to a spine injury. That same year, Soberano’s casting was announced.
“Darna is personal to me,” Matti continued. “My first project in the industry was as continuity supervisor for Peque Gallaga’s ‘Darna’ with Anjanette Abayari. And doing this modern reboot of the classic superhero, I feel that I have come full circle in this industry.”
Matti was referring to the 1994 film “Darna: Ang Pagbabalik” – the last released movie centering on the Mars Ravelo character.
“I would like to thank my staff and crew who have toiled through the process bringing forth brilliant design and execution ideas as to how we can bring to life a uniquely modern take of our iconic Filipino superhero that can be relevant to the times,” he said.
Prior to his resignation, Matti revealed that a modern version of Darna’s costume had been finalized, and that the cast, including the villain Valentina and Narda’s brother Ding, had been completed. He had also shot scenes with Soberano as Narda, the alter ego of Darna.
In the months following Soberano’s introduction as Darna, Matti also consistently lauded the actress for her hard work and passion for the role, and even expressed confidence that her final look would silence those critical of her casting.
“To Liza Soberano, thank you for the dedication and commitment. I’m sure you’ll be a kickass Darna. To Star Cinema, ABS-CBN, and the next director, I wish you all the best for this project,” Matti said. (ABS-CBN News)