Director bows out of ‘Darna’ movie due to ‘creative differences’

Erik Matti and Liza Soberano. Photo: Matti’s Instagram account.
Erik Matti and Liza Soberano. Photo: Matti’s Instagram account.

After so much fanfare, it all came to this.

Movie producer Star Cinema, its parent company ABS-CBN, and director Erik Matti  announced today that the award-winning filmmaker will no longer be directing the superhero movie Darna due to “creative differences.”

The statement also mentioned that Matti had to bow out of the movie because he needed to work on other projects under his own company, Reality Entertainment. A new director for the movie will be announced soon.

The statement appeared on ABS-CBN’s website and ABS-CBN PR’s social media accounts.


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The announcement came as a shock to many fans who have been waiting for the movie since Matti was hired for the project five years ago. Just in June, he posted a statement on his Instagram account where he said he had no plans to quit Darna.

The film was supposed to feature Angel Locsin who once played Darna on television. However, Locsin had to quit due to an injury, which made it hard for her to do stunts required by the role.

She was replaced by Lisa Soberano, a Filipino-American actress thought by many as the Philippines’ next big major star. Darna is regarded as her biggest role to date.

Matti is considered by fans as one of the leading directors in the country. His most recent movie BuyBust was highly-praised by critics both in the country and abroad. Another previous work, On the Job, was also a favorite of both critics and moviegoers.

Darna happens to be one of the most iconic Filipino comic book characters of all time. Introduced by Mars Ravelo in 1950, she’s the local version of Wonder Woman and playing her in a movie or TV series is considered a career milestone. Other than Locsin, she’s been played by actor-politician Vilma Santos, former actor and now philanthropist Nanette Medved, and Anjanette Abayari.

The announcement today was met with varying degrees of shock and anger online.

User @immobboss thinks that Star Cinema might have been “cruel” to Matti

@jirahsaur wrote in a mix of English and Filipino: “Direk Erik Matti said months ago that he is not a quitter. What happened now says alot (sic) about how the management triggered Matti to quit. How bad.”

@runthelmarun sarcastically said that only Hollywood director Christopher Nolan can replace Matti.

@jvn_gow wrote: “F*ck Star Cinema probably wants a romantic comedy version of Darna.

Star Cinema is known for producing romantic movies featuring love teams.

Would you watch the movie even now that Matti isn’t directing? Leave your comment below or tweet to @CoconutsManila.

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