How Dennis Trillo's ‘Severino’ series is different from movie version

How Dennis Trillo’s ‘Severino’ series is different from movie version

/ 12:15 AM February 25, 2024

How Dennis Trillo's ‘Severino’ series is different from movie version

Dennis Trillo will be playing the controversial priest Severino in the biopic series –DENNIS TRILLO/ INSTAGRAM

He is so much into it already,” said Jon Verzosa of actor Dennis Trillo, who will be playing the controversial 1800s Filipino priest Severino Mallari in a biopic series about the first and only documented serial killer in the Philippines.

“We’re very excited with the project,” said Verzosa who will be producing it under CreaZion Studios, where he is senior head of creatives and chief of staff. “We cannot get into the details just yet, but we can say that a streaming platform has already acquired the rights to show it.”


He was quick to add that Trillo’s series is very different from Derick Cabrido’s film “Mallari,” which was shown in December. “I would say that ‘Mallari’ is the fantastical kind, while ours, since it’s a biopic, is really the factual story of Severino from 1816 to the 1840s. We’re very confident with the script. It’s riveting. It will showcase Severino’s issues with his mom, as well as what led to his death, especially since we can say that he was kind of crazy. This happened at a time when mental health issues were not tackled yet.”


Verzosa said he also couldn’t reveal the director’s name, but that “he is someone very special,” adding, “we will be showing things that have not been shown before.”

He said their story was in development around the same time Cabrido and writer Enrico Santos wrote “Mallari.” He added that since theirs is a biopic, “a lot more research had to be done. This was hard. Admittedly, we will be fictionalizing some parts of the story, too.”

Verzosa explained that “Severino Mallari” is about the priest who underwent a traumatic experience that led him to start killing people. “Even in research, we’re not sure exactly how many people he killed. We believe the number reported in the news has been padded. You see, Filipinos relied heavily on oral tradition to tell their history.” He added that he will be announcing the names of three other actors who have signed up to be part of the series.‘Pinoy flavor’

CreaZion is also doing another project, the local adaptation of the Korean romantic-comedy film “All About My Wife,” with Jennylyn Mercado playing lead and Real Florido as director. “While it’s an adaptation, we’ve added a lot more Pinoy flavor into it. We plan to get talented senior actors to complete the cast,” Verzosa said.

“We also have another film that’s geared toward the MMFF (Metro Manila Film Festival) under the family-drama genre. The script is currently being polished,” he added. “There is another horror project that’s being developed. It’s going to be a busy 2024 for our production team. If it flourishes creatively, we will be working on another series, as well.”

CreaZion was the official distributor of the Korean action film “The Childe,” the 2003 Argentinian-American horror “When Evil Lurks,” and recently, the American romantic flick “Priscilla” here in the Philippines and in various areas in Southeast Asia.

Jon Verzosa


Flourishing business

“It’s the business of our company that’s really flourishing,” Verzosa said of CreaZion’s film distribution arm. “We also attend film markets. We were in Korea recently and will be attending the Hong Kong International Film & TV Market in March. We may return to Busan (Asian Contents and Film Market) later this year because that’s where all the good titles are. What we do there is that we just don’t partner, we also acquire.”

CreaZion is also into talent management, with Dolly de Leon and Chai Fonacier as part of its growing list of artists. Verzosa said De Leon is part of two movies—“Ghostlight” and “Between the Temples”—that participated at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival in Utah. The actress is currently in Munich, Germany, to work on the second season of the series “Nine Perfect Strangers” with Nicole Kidman.

Meanwhile, Fonacier will begin working on a new movie—a collaboration between Australia and the Philippines—titled “Night Fall” later this month. Verzosa said the Visayan actress had already shot an international film in the beginning of 2023, “but there’s no word yet as to what will happen to that project.”

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For now, CreaZion’s projects are mostly movies, “because this is where Real and I started.” The two began as writers for GMA 7 programs “SOP” and “Party Pilipinas,” respectively. Verzosa was a researcher for various shows, too, including “Manny, Many Prizes” and “Kusina Master.” He then shifted to narrative writing and became one of the pioneer writers of the GMA Public Affairs shows, “Karelasyon” and “Tadhana.”

TAGS: Dennis Trillo

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