ABS-CBN has found a new Darna in little-known Jane de Leon.
The announcement, made by the network’s managing director for film, Olivia Lamasan, via ABS-CBN News, shocked not a few.
Many thought bigwigs would pick someone with considerable following for the iconic role including the likes of Nadine Lustre, Pia Wurtzbach, and Maja Salvador. Darna is a huge thing, after all, with some of the country’s biggest stars including Vilma Santos, Lorna Tolentino, Rio Locsin, Sharon Cuneta, Nanette Medved, Anjanette Abayari, Regine Velasquez, Angel Locsin, and Marian Rivera, having donned the heroine’s gold-and red bikini in the not-so-distant past.
Lamasan related how De Leon was handpicked for the job from over 300 celebrities who auditioned for the same by Jerrold Tarog himself, assigned director of the long-delayed “Darna” film reboot who had to contend with second choice Liza Soberano opting out of the film due to injury.
It was a “unanimous decision” said Lamasan with herself and director Lauren Dyogi finding “something” in De Leon, a relative newbie whose claim to fame include several bit roles on TV, including “Halik” where she played Jericho Rosales’s sister.
“Pinresent na si Jane sa amin a couple of years ago, and among all the 13 noon na Mr. M (Johnny Manahan) presented from Star Magic, natatandaan ng isang talent handler na ‘Inang. napansin mo na siya noon, itong batang ito pwedeng sumali ng beauty pageants.’ And then I saw her again in ‘Halik.’ Sabi ko, ‘itong batang to, meron.’ There’s something about her,” Lamasan said.
“Pati si Direk Lauren said there’s something about her. Bilang filmmakers, may nakikita kami. Malakas ang instinct ng bata,” she added.
According to Lamasan, De Leon is perfect as the new Darna, given that the film is actually a “genesis story.”
It’s a coming-of-age (film). Ang requirement talaga is somebody na young and with an air of innocence but at the same time a strength of character,” she said.
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