Expect a ‘gun-toting’ Vilma Santos in comeback film, says Erik Matti
If plans push through as scheduled, seasoned actress Vilma Santos will make her much-awaited big-screen comeback portraying a gun-toting character in a project of Reality Entertainment, according to its founder-manager Erik Matti.
“Dondon Monteverde, my business partner at Reality, and I have never stopped finding projects for Vilma even before the pandemic happened. Nothing really came of our previous efforts, until we recently stumbled upon two stories that we felt were really perfect for Vilma,” said Matti, who is also an acclaimed filmmaker.
“I texted her to say, ‘I know you’re into vlogging now but we miss seeing you in the movies. I hope you’re coming back soon. You might want to do a movie with us. We already have the stories for you.’ She immediately replied with, ‘Let’s sit down and meet. I’m excited to go back to movie-making.’ It took another month to find the right schedule for all of us,” recalled Matti.
When asked to talk about their concepts for Santos, Matti said that one is a comedy-drama story, “which could either be a series or just a movie”; while the other is a “super genre movie, where Vilma will play a gun-toting character,” he reported.
Matti added that Santos said “yes” to both. “She just wanted to do the gun-toting project first,” the director continued. “Vilma then asked for the timetable and we said, ‘We kind of work slow. We take our time. We hope to do this next year.’ She then said her thanks but added that ‘I still want to enjoy vlogging, so next year would be fine.’”
Matti said the first of the projects with Santos will begin in the second quarter of 2023.
Mother Lily biopic
The director also belied rumors that Santos will play the lead in the biographical film on Regal Entertainment matriarch Lily Monteverde, a project that Reality has been working on since prepandemic. It was earlier reported that Judy Ann Santos will be part of the biopic, too.
“The pitching we made to Vilma [for a comedy-drama story] is for a totally different project,” Matti pointed out. “We are having a hard time resuming work on the Mother Lily story because of its size. It’s kind of hard to navigate, especially with all the set locations required for a period film. To work on it now is not so convenient, but it has been part of a lot of our conversations for a year and a half now because it’s a really great project.
“Nakakatuwa ang script because we chose to tell a particular part of Mother Lily’s life,” Matti added. “We don’t know when to resume working on it again. We’re actually working on a different project with Judy Ann now. She recently asked me for an update on the Mother Lily project, but I couldn’t give her any.”
In a separate interview, Monteverde gave the assurance that the biopic will push through, “because this is an important project for me.”
Monteverde, who is the fourth of Lily’s five children, added: “It’s just that the pandemic hit us. Hopefully, we can get back to planning for it soon. Of course, Mother Lily is an important figure in my life, not only because I’m her son but also because I was a witness to how she struggled and pushed for the industry to move forward. We really can’t say anything definite about the project yet. We might even end up having both Judy Ann and Ate Vi in the film. Juday can be the young Mother Lily.”
Meanwhile, both Monteverde and Matti confirmed that the second season of the critically acclaimed action series “On the Job: The Missing 8” (OTJ8) is in the works. The series, directed by Matti, is currently streaming on HBO Go.
“It’s still in the development stage. We have yet to complete the cast. Erik and screenwriter Michiko Yamamoto are leading the creative team. What is certain is that it will stream on HBO, too,” shared Monteverde.
Incidentally, the film version of “OTJ8” is the country’s representative to the best international feature film category of 75th Academy Awards to be held in March 2023.
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