MANILA—Acclaimed filmmaker Erik Matti, who was originally to helm the “Darna” film project until creative differences led to his departure from the Star Cinema production, believes Nadine Lustre is the perfect candidate to take on the role of komiks icon.
The “Darna” movie was to star Liza Soberano as the titular character, but the actress withdrew from the high-profile project early this month due to an injury that widely limited the stunts she could do, as required of the role.
Following Soberano’s exit, Matti identified fan-favorite Lustre as a possible replacement, citing her versatility.
Speaking on the sidelines of a press conference on Tuesday for his upcoming horror film “Kuwaresma,” Matti went into detail as to the reasons he considers Lustre an ideal big-screen Darna.
“Ang feeling ko lang, si Nadine ‘yung babagay talaga sa tipo niya, sa tipo na role ni Darna,” he told PEP.ph. ““Hindi talaga pupuwede 'yung model-model, para sa akin, ha? Hindi puwede ang beauty queen.”
“Para sa akin, si Narda sa pagkakakilala natin ay ordinary siya. Ordinaryong bata na nagkaroon ng superpower. So, kailangan mo, yung casting na pag ordinaryo siya, ordinary talaga ang hitsura niya,” he added.
Matti was referring to the alter ego of Darna, who, in the Mars Ravelo lore, transforms into the superhero when she swallows a magical stone and shouts out her name.
“So, ang kayang maging ganoon, si Nadine. Puwede siyang ordinary na Filipina. Tapos, kapag naging superhero, puwede ring sexy na matapang, may dating, ‘di ba? ‘Yung ganoon. Wala na akong ibang naiisip, 'yun na 'yun. Kasi, kailangan mo rin ‘yung physical,” Matti explained.
Lustre, whose name has consistently ranked in fan polls on who could be the next Darna, earlier expressed gratitude to those who consider her worthy of the project.
“I super appreciate that. For them to see me as a person who is strong and very empowered – Darna is a strong woman and nakikita nila sa akin yun, it’s good.
“I want to thank everyone for the support of course but Darna kasi, I am sure, it will be given to someone who is deserving for the role and someone who can really give justice,” she said a the time.
Star Cinema, following Soberano’s resignation, said it has started the selection process for the new actress who will portray Darna in the movie.