ABS-CBN has acquired exclusive rights to one of Mars Ravelo’s most popular works, “Darna,” having inked a deal last week with the late komiks novelist’s daughter Rita Ravelo-de la Cruz and son Rex Ravelo.
Quite expectedly, the contract signing re-ignited speculations on which ABS-CBN actresses would fly as the Filipino superheroine, who, according to IMDB.com, has headlined 14 film productions (including the parody “Darna Kuno”) since 1951, and three TV series since 1977.
Since late last year, the names Angel Locsin, Cristine Reyes, Jessy Mendiola, KC Concepcion, Sarah Geronimo, Maja Salvador, etc. have been floated as potential perfect fits for Darna’s iconic red costume and deserving trustees for the fictional white stone of power from planet Marte. However, the network is being extremely tightlipped about the project.
In an interview with the Inquirer last September, Locsin, who starred in GMA 7’s top-rating small screen adaptation of the series in 2005, said she “missed
playing the character,” but was “unsure if it’s still the right project for me.” She explained, “You have to consider how audiences would feel. They may want someone new. I don’t want to force myself on them.”
The last Darna portrayal was by Marian Rivera, in GMA 7’s 2009 TV version.
While the buzz around Locsin is strong, and diehard supporters hope that she will reprise the role, the actress’ manager, Ethel Ramos, said her ward was set to do a different TV series.
“It’s going to be a romance-drama, which may also include Paulo Avelino and Andi Eigenmann, among others. Rory Quintos is the director,” Ramos told Inquirer via SMS.
Meanwhile, Reyes recently caused a stir online when pictures of her in a Darna costume surfaced on various blogs and social networking sites. Photos of her mimicking Darna’s signature poses were likewise posted. But there are also speculations that she will play the villain Black Darna instead.
“Yeah, I’ve heard that one,” Reyes told Inquirer, also via SMS. “It would be awesome [to] play that role. There’s no confirmation, though. It’s all rumors [at the moment].”
Jessy Mendiola, observers believe, is now out of contention since she is top-billing the remake of the Mexican telenovela “Maria Mercedes.” The role was originally played by Mexican actress Thalia.
Aside from “Darna,” the deal with the Ravelos granted the network exclusive rights to their father’s other well-loved works, like “Dyesebel,”
“Captain Barbell” and 10 other titles that are yet to be specified.
In an interview with ABS-CBN News, Rex said that while the network had the liberty to choose who would play Darna, the family would be consulted when it came to “creative decisions.” That, he said, would have to be a collaboration.