TBA Studios on Tuesday said that the third entry in the planned trilogy launched by the acclaimed film Heneral Luna in 2015 will still push through, despite delays in its production due to Star Cinema’s film adaptation of Mars Ravelo’s Darna.
This as Jerrold Tarog – who helmed the popular John Arcilla-starrer and its 2018 follow up, Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral that centered on Gregorio del Pilar and starred Paulo Avelino – had to put the project on hold after he was tapped by ABS-CBN to replace Erik Matti as director of Darna, to be led by Jane de Leon.
In Jerrold’s so-called “Bayani Cinematic Universe,” the third film is set focus on Philippine president Manuel L. Quezon, who was previously portrayed by Benjamin Alves and TJ Trinidad in “Luna” and “Goyo”. According to TBA Studios president Vincent Nebrida, the biopic about Quezon “would have been next in line” – until ABS-CBN requested for the filmmaker’s involvement in the superheroine flick in October 2018.
“There’s always some give and take. They asked us, and we said yes,” TBA Studios founder Eduardo Rocha said, referring to Star Cinema.
“We loaned him. Why not? I consider Charo a friend. I’ve known her a long time,” Nebrida said, referring to Charo Santos-Concio, former president and CEO, and now-chief content officer of ABS-CBN.
However, while Jerrold is currently occupied with Darna, pre-production work on the Quezon biopic is still ongoing, said Rocha in an interview with ABS-CBN News.
“We’re researching right now… Almost every book that was written about him (Quezon), we are absorbing,” he said.
The film, according to Rocha, is set to depict two timelines showing a young and old Quezon. A significant part of the story will be set during the first general elections of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.
“A lot of political satirism will be there. We had the fire of Luna, we had the flaw of Goyo. This one, we’ll have the fire, but it’s also going to be a satire on who really ran the Philippines,” he said.
Nebrida said that regardless of the public’s reception of the upcoming third installment – whether it will live up to its first two films -- TBA Studios is “proud to be doing these films that we feel can still be watched generations from now,” especially in light of the 100 years of Philippine cinema.
“That’s the kind of legacy we’d like to leave behind,” he said.
Cameras are expected to roll for the Quezon-centered biopic by 2021.