Coco Martin returns to the big screen as actor and director in ‘Ang Panday’

ith much fanfare, Ang Probinsiyano lead actor Coco Martin has been declared as “the new Panday.”
Is he, then, fully taking up the revered mantle of the late Fernando Poe Jr.?

Coco Martin, in person, is a study in contrast. On one hand, he is humble enough to refuse any comparisons with the great FPJ. And he is right. If one were to study his filmography and other creative projects, one would rightly conclude that he is his own man.

And yet his ambition sparkles from his eyes. In this first venture into producing, directing and acting in Ang Panday, Coco clearly wants to prove he is his own man. He built this work practically from the ground up – taking on the costly mantle of producer, the structure of the film as director and the burden of playing a lead role immortalized by one of local filmdom’s greatest actors.

The way he tells this experience – all smiles in spite of the obvious challenges he faed making the film while also shooting the television series that first awakened unwanted comparisons between him and FPJ — one can believe Coco is in his element.

Fantasy come to life

Ang Panday, the first-ever team-up of CCM Film Productions, Star Cinema and Viva Films, is touted to be the biggest, most explosive, action-adventure in the much-awaited 43rd Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), happening this December.
Directed by Coco himself under his real name Rodel Nacianceno in what is tagged as his first-ever directorial project and with an original story that he developed, this is the very first live-action film adaptation Ang Panday, the beloved character created by writer Carlo J. Caparas and artist Steve Gan and made popular by the late action king Fernando Poe Jr..
In this 2017 epic comeback of the iconic Pinoy superhero, Coco Martin plays Flavio III, the grandson of the original Panday, whose life suddenly turns upside down when he realizes that his bloodline is destined to save humanity from the evil doings of Panday’s immortal evil nemesis Lizardo (Jake Cuenca) who comes back from the world of darkness to once again wreak havoc on the human race.
With Flavio III unaware that his bloodline is the only one capable of destroying Lizardo, he is forced to scour different worlds to be able to gain the trust of the mythical power of the legendary sword. And like the original beloved hero, Flavio III gets to meet various characters that will help him become the rightful heir to the revered name Ang Panday.

First foray

It should be noted that this is the very first full-length mainstream movie that Coco directed. Coco has been forged by time to be a film director. He started his career as an actor in indie movies, most notably in the films of Brillante Mendoza — his original mentor, Coco admits — and he crossed over to mainstream as he transitioned to television, appearing in a consistent string of ABS-CBN’s top-rating primetime teleseryes as well as movies under a mammoth film outfit.
Coco has amassed invaluable experience that fused the invaluable things that he learned from both the world of indie and commercial, which he is able to apply in Ang Panday — which is the fulfillment of his dream to direct a movie.
Coco’s active involvement as creative consultant of FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano also greatly forged his skill as a storyteller.
Ang Panday is not only an iconic character in Pinoy pop culture, but it is also arguably one of most beloved Pinoy comic book heroes of all time as it embodies the ideals of truth and justice, as well as the triumph of good over evil.
As the movie’s titular character, Coco is the ultimate personification of the values that Panday represents — evident from the unwavering adulation of millions of Filipinos to him especially after he breathed life to the character of Cardo in the long-running and top-rating ABS-CBN primetime drama series FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano.
As Flavio, Coco will once again stand up for what is good just as he valiantly champions the plight of the poor and the oppressed.
Witness how Flavio will fulfill his destiny as he transforms from a simple, Tondo-born man to the greatest Filipino hero of all time who will save his family and community from the clutches of the most terrifying evil man has ever known.
Ang Panday also stars Senator Lito Lapid, Eddie Garcia, Michael de Mesa, Gloria Romero, Jacklyn Jose, Dimples Romana, Jeric Raval, Jaime Fabregas, Julio Diaz, Mariel De Leon, Awra Briguela, Dennis Padilla; Carmi Martin, Albert Martinez, Agot Isidro, Kylie Versoza, Mccoy De Leon, Elisse Joson, and Jhong Hilario among many others.
Ang Panday hits cinemas nationwide starting December 25.

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