The long wait is over for fans of the popular Komiks heroine Darna, with 19-year-old actress Liza Soberano taking on the role for a new movie to be helmed by Erik Matti.
In an exclusive interview with ABS-CBN News’ MJ Felipe on Tuesday, Soberano said: “Yes, it is confirmed. Tinatanggap ko na ang role na Darna.”
The news received mixed reaction on social media.
Apparently, some fans deem Soberano too young if also too pretty for the role. Others maintained she’s “not voluptuous enough.”
Then again, there are those who are already eagerly looking forward to what she would bring on the table.
Asked one: “Kayanin niya kaya ang mga stunts na ginawa na ni Angel Locsin noon?”
Asked yet another: “Ano kaya ang maidagdag ni Liza na hindi pa nagawa ng ibang nag-Darna?”
Of course, it’s too early to tell at this point but whatever the case maybe, Soberano has already vowed to “give my more than 100 percent best” for the assignment.
As to how she would prepare for the role, she said, “I will undergo functional training, which is working out at the gym lang, nagpapalakas po. And then eventually, I’ll have stunt training, dance workshop para sa timing and gracefulness kapag gumalaw.”
Obviously, the Fil-American is wary of her ability to execute the stunts needed for the role.
Well, she should be.
Soberano hasn’t been assigned physical roles in her short career, having done mostly projects that lean more on romance and drama.
But a bigger concern for some is Soberano’s need to hone her Tagalog.
Darna, a simple provincial lass granted the power to transform into a powerful Wonder Woman-like superhero, should definitively not have an American accent like Soberano.
So, how is she going to hack it?
According to Soberano she will undergo more “acting workshops as well as dialogue training.”
If anything, the actress also has Matti’s support.
In a previous interview with DZMM, Matti singled out Soberano out of all the possible names mentioned for the role, noting her looks and built.
“She has the strength physically, ‘yung itsura at katawan. And then tama ‘yung edad and you can do a lot of things sa mukha niya. Puwede siya mag-iba-iba ng itsura and she could still look really good. At the same time, Pinay siya na maganda, pan-Asian. Mahirap ‘yung mestiza eh,” he said.
How it all started
It was early in 2013 that ABS-CBN acquired from iconic writer Mars Ravelo’s family the rights to characters he created including Dyesebel, Captain Barbell and Darna.
The film was first announced in 2013 by Star Cinema, revealing the name of Matti as director and Angel Locsin as lead star.
It was originally slated for release as entry to the 2014 Metro Manila Film Festival. However, the film did not push through due to Locsin developing a disc bulge on her spine.
Star Cinema opted to wait while Locsin recuperated but early this year, the actress announced with finality that she is leaving the project, giving rise to speculations as to who will replace her.
Some names mentioned were Soberano, Nadine Lustre, Julia Montes, Sarah Geronimo, Maja Salvador, Pia Wurtzbach, Arci Muñoz, Jessy Mendiola, KC Concepcion, Yassi Pressman, Anne Curtis, Kathryn Bernardo and Ritz Azul.
With the title role already confirmed, fans have gone on to speculate as to who will play the rest of the characters inherent to the Darna saga, namely her sidekick Ding and her main nemesis Valentina.
Some names suggested to play Ding are Simon “Onyok” Pineda and Alonzo Muhlach. There are others who are suggesting Awra Briguela, insisting the young actor could add something fresh to the role.
Meanwhile, those being proposed to play Valentina include Sarah Lahbati, Maricel Soriano, K Brosas and weirdly enough, Vice Ganda.
Incidentally, Vice was among the first to express excitement with Soberano getting the part.
Of course, it goes without saying that some fans are also finding ways to maneuver Soberano’s love team partner, Enrique Gil, into the whole scenario.
“Kapag pasok si Quen, suporta ako,” said one.
“Liza without Quen? Questionable,” boldly declared another.
Tags: Angel Locsin, Anne Curtis, Captain Barbell, Darna, Dyesebel, Enrique Gil, Erik Matti, Julia Montes, Kathryn Bernardo, Liza Soberano, Maja Salvador, Mars Ravelo, Nadine Lustre, Onyok Pineda, Pia Wurtzbach., Ritz Azul, Sarah Geronimo, Sarah Lahbati, Star Cinema, vice ganda, Yassi Pressman