Vilma, Jericho projects intended ‘to lure moviegoers back to theaters’ | Inquirer Entertainment

Vilma, Jericho projects intended ‘to lure moviegoers back to theaters’

/ 12:15 AM January 05, 2023
Vilma Santos

Vilma Santos

I pray for the Philippines to be on everyone’s radar and for it to be given the chance to show how much talent it has,” said filmmaker Erik Matti when asked to share with Inquirer Entertainment what his prayer contains these days.

Matti also said he is hoping that the ongoing Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) will encourage Filipino film lovers to give cinema-watching another try.

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“We’re on a really low plateau in the Philippines right now,” Matti declared. “I just met with a group of filmmakers. I asked them about what they’re busy with, but for me, nothing rises above the clutter—this is unless all of us have signed an NDA (nondisclosure agreement) with our producers and chosen to keep our cards close to our chests.”

He recently announced that Reality Entertainment, his film production outfit with Dondon Monteverde, will be producing two film projects with veteran actress Vilma Santos, and another with Jericho Rosales.

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“Part of the reason we ended up pitching to Vilma was that we love the cinemas and we want to bring the audience back to the theaters. Everyone is talking about how we should all go back to screening films in theaters, but no one seems to be doing that brave move,” he began.

“Dondon and I think that the only way to bring people back to the cinemas now, after the two-year hiatus, is to do a tentpole, which means a movie that’s big enough to make people leave their homes and go to movie houses; a film that is important enough for people not to say, ‘I’m just going to download it two months later,’ or ‘I’m just going to get a pirated copy.’ We need to show a film that’s so spectacular that the audience would say, ‘I’m so excited to see this that I’m going to watch it on its first screening day!’”

Jericho Rosales

Jericho Rosales

‘Playing safe’

The filmmaker continued: “That’s what we have not been doing since pandemic restrictions have been lifted. All of us are trying to play safe. We’ve been showing films that say, ‘It’s small. We just want to see if someone would watch.’ I pray for that particular movie that’s so exciting that even journalists would be excited to write about it.”

Meanwhile, Matti confirmed that Jericho Rosales, who opted to take a break from acting during the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, has agreed to be part of a movie prequel of Matti’s action series “On the Job” (OTJ).

This is aside from the second season of “On the Job: The Missing 8” that Matti and his team are currently working on, and will be streamed on HBO Go. “This script that Michiko (Yamamoto) wrote is set in the 1990s. It shows how the prisoner-for-hire system in syndicates started. The script was put aside when we started shooting OTJ. In May, when we started looking into the script again, we discovered how good it still is, and that, with Season 2 coming, it would be a nice in-between project,” he explained.

Director Erik Matti

Younger versions

“It’s a film that could segue into the second season of OTJ. So we started casting, and Jericho was our first choice,” added Matti. “We’ll have a good ensemble for the 1990s movie. Jericho and two other actors will be portraying roles that are already existing in the OTJ series. Won’t it be nice to see the younger versions?”

Matti clarified, however, that there will be no younger version of Joel Torre’s character, Mario Maghari, who is from the original OTJ. “We will get to meet the young Dante Rivero and the young Leo Martinez—one from the military and the other from the rebels’ side,” he shared with Inquirer Entertainment.

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TAGS: Jericho Rosales, Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), Vilma Santos
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