MANILA, Philippines – After a break from the Metro Manila Film Festival in 2016, Coco Martin returns this time in another popular icon imortalized by the late Fernando Poe Jr, Ang Panday.
Produced under his film production CCM Film Productions together with Star Cinema and Viva Films, Ang Panday also marks the directorial debut of Coco.
In the movie, Coco plays Flavio III, who was raised in the streets but is protective of his family. When dark forces led by Lizardo (Jake Cuenca) try to invade his the human world, Flavio discovers that he is a descendant of the original panday (blacksmith). He sets on a quest to find the balaraw (dagger) and to protect the world.
Here are few fun facts about the movie.
1. Mariel de Leon and Kylie Verzosa’s film debut. If Vice Ganda’s The Revenger Squad has Miss Universe Pia Wurtzbach as part of the film, Coco also has beauty queens as his leading ladies. Miss International 2016 Kylie Verzosa plays a diwata (fairy) in the movie, while Binibining Pilipinas International 207 Mariel de Leon plays Maria, Flavio’s love interest.
2. A different type of Awra Briguela. Child star Awra Briguela is known for his funny moments in film and TV. But in Panday, Awra plays a different type of character – a sibling of Flavio who turns into a monster but ends saving them from danger. It’s something he said he was happy to do.
“Hindi ako nalungkot,” Awra said of his character in the movie. “Masaya ako kasi meron naman akong role na first time kong gawin. And then yung character ko, napakasaya niya kasi minsan lang kasi makita iyong ng tao at sa lahat ng nanging show ko, hindi ko pa po nagagawa iyon.”
(I’m not sad. I’m very happy because I was given a role that I did for the first time. And my character it was fun because they rarely see this kidn of character and in all the shows I did, I have not done this type of role yet.)
3. Jake Cuenca on his inspiration for the role of Lizardo. In Ang Panday, Flavio faces his biggest enemy in Lizardo, played by Jake Cuenca. During his solo press con, Coco said that he had no one else in mind to play his antagonist but Jake, who he worked with in past teleseryes.
During the movie premiere, Jake said that there was a mixture of Jim Morrison and Heath Ledger’s Joker when he did the role of Lizardo.
“Everything that I do has something within me. Kung baga lahat ng characters na ginagawa ko, regardless kung masama, there’s something…galing din pa rin dito iyan, from my heart. So may katotohanan pa din.” (In other words, all the characters I do, regardless if they are evil, there’s something…it still comes here, fromy heart. So there’s still some truth to it.)
Jake also said that Lizardo is perhaps one of the most intense roles he has done.
“Intensity times 10! This is my favorite role of all time. Fifteeen years of being an actor, studying in the States, winning abroad, doing everything, this role is a culmination of everything that I’ve worked for.”
4. A big part of the cast is from FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. If the actors are familiar is because a lot of them are part or have appeared in FPJ’s Ang Probinsyano. Jaime Fabregas, Albert Martinez, Agot Isidro, Mark Lapid, Lito Lapid, Jhong Hilario, McLisse, Eddie Garcia, and John Prats are just some of the cast members.
5. A mobile app for the movie has been launched. As part of the movie’s promotion, Ang Panday, a mobile game was launched early this year. Coco himself co-designed the game, which can be downloaded on mobile phones.
“Hindi namin ginawa na sobrang violent. Hindi lang siya laban ng laban. May reason bakit siya nakikipaglaban,” he said in an interview with ABS-CBN
(It’s not very violent. It’s not just about fighting. He fights for a reason.)
Coco partnered with the game developer, Synergy 88 Digital. The game is currently available on Google Play as of writing.