Award-winning action-drama movie “On The Job” is now a mini-series to be shown exclusively on HOOQ.
“OTJ: The Series” is the first Philippine original content to be shown on that video-on-demand platform. It will be released in the Philippines, Thailand, India and Indonesia. It will have six episodes.
“I’m just happy HOOQ tapped us for this,” said director Erik Matti. “It’s an unchartered territory. It’s an exciting format to explore, not just in terms of the casting we came up with, but also with topics and themes we can explore in our story. We’re going to challenge the format, we’re going to challenge how brave and how bold we could come up with the new mini-series of OTJ.”
Although based on the 2013 movie, the series will have a different plot.
“This OTJ series is not about the truth but it’s about what you believe in. I guess that’s very timely now, wherein we try to dissect the truth with what’s happening about us. Hopefully, it resonates,” Erik said.
“OTJ: The Series” is about controversies and corruption in media. Bela Padilla, who plays the feisty journalist Pam, looks into the case of eight murdered journalists in the town of La Paz.
Among the original film cast, only Leo Martinez will join the series, playing the same character, General Pacheco.
“Nagpapasalamat ako kay Erik dahil binigyan niya ako ng role na sabi nga ng mga reviewers I have a knack for portraying irritating characters. Irritating daw ako sa original na ‘OTJ,’ so nagpapasalamat ako na ginawan ulit nila ako ng irritating character,” Leo said.
Christopher de Leon, Teroy Guzman, Jake Macapagal, Levi Ignacio, Smokey Manaloto, Dominic Ochoa, Arjo Atayde, Ria Atayde, Renz Fernandez, Nonoy Froilan, Neil Ryan Sese, and Nafa Cruz complete the cast.
“We wanted to bring back many (of the original characters) into the story but since we jumped off to another topic, another institution, which is media, we wanted to refresh the cast of characters. What we enjoyed in the first movie is how we put together also the kind of casting that we got, (meaning) all of those actors we admired. We wanted to also have the same kind of feel. We brought a lot of actors that could possibly do new and refreshing kind of roles,” Erik said.
“There are no black or white characters, but mainly just grey characters. Even if the people that you respond to relate with, like Pam, Sisoy, Berie, even the prisoners, even if they kill, you would feel some kind of humanity in all of them. So, at the end of the story, you find out why you really feel about them and that’s how they are to you, in the same way that we are not being judgmental about certain characters,” he said.
In creating the story, Erik shared they tried to explore several institutions but decided to zero in on media. While the talk of the town now is about illegal drugs, Erik admitted they don’t want to create a story that might come as “exploitative.”
“Maybe we can talk about drugs one or two years from now. But we don’t want to do something that’s very now so that we get everybody’s attention. We just trust the story that we made, media, which I think many can relate or identify with,” he said.
“OTJ: The series” is co-produced by Reality Entertainment in partnership with HOOQ and Globe Studios.
“We are very excited to finally start production of this new venture as it strengthens our commitment to provide the best content for our customers whether they are at home or on mobile. From partnering with content producers, we are now taking the next big step by co-producing all original materials, and Director Erik Matti’s ‘OTJ’ series is the perfect choice given the success of its movie counterpart,” Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business Dan Horan said.