James Reid has dropped out of his role in the action-fantasy "Pedro Penduko" after suffering a spinal injury.
He was set to play the starring role in the movie, billed as the launching point of a planned cinematic universe — similar to what Marvel Studios has done — featuring characters from local myth.
A statement released through a showbiz website said that Viva, the talent agency which manages Reid's career, "regretfully" accepts the actor's decision to withdraw from the project.
Viva revealed that Reid is nursing an injury to his spine that had been preventing him from doing the intensive training required and major stunts for the film.
"James has spent over a year training and getting ready for this film and Viva truly appreciates his dedication and commitment to this project," the statement furthered. "Viva respects James decision and wishes him a speedy recovery."
A replacement for Reid was not announced, although Viva added that he and his girlfriend, actress Nadine Lustre, who was also supposed to appear in the "Pedro Penduko" movie," will instead star in a local adaptation of a 2011 Korean movie, "Spellbound."
In an interview with Pep, "Pedro Penduko" director Treb Monteras said that they might have a difficult time finding another actor to play the lead, given that they wrote the script with Reid in mind.
Monteras maintained, though, that the movie will push through.
The "Pedro Penduko" movie was initially announced by Epik Studios and Cignal in June 2018, the first in an ambitious slate of superhero movies that will run until 2021.
This version is based on the Epik Studios book that re-imagined the myth of Pedro Penduko, handing the "next chosen one" title to a bullied teen named Peter Harris, who was raised in the US.
Reid is the latest star to back out of a superhero movie, following Angel Locsin and Liza Soberano, who both suffered injuries while preparing for the planned Star Cinema "Darna" movie.