“The long-awaited “Darna” film is no longer pushing through,” writes Inquirer.net, citing an Inquirer Bandera report. Apparently, the reason behind the cancellation of the project is a combination of two things: the film’s extremely high budget and the onset of the pandemic.
“Balitang umabot na sa P140 million ang nagamit sa budget at kakailanganin ulit ng P100 million para matapos na,” states the original Bandera report.
I guess it just wasn’t meant to be. I’m a huge “Darna” stan so I’ve been following the production since it was announced in 2013. To be honest, it feels more than a little bit cursed. Let me explain.
First was the multiple recasts. The movie was originally supposed to have Angel Locsin reprise her iconic turn as the superhero. However, Locsin suffered from a spinal injury in 2016 and couldn’t do it anymore—the ABS-CBN execs announced in late 2016 that they were willing to wait for her to heal, and Locsin ended up filming again in 2017 but the pain from her injury started flaring up again, causing her to finally withdraw from the part.
Many actresses were then rumored to be looking into the project—this included the Internet’s president Nadine Lustre—but ultimately Liza Soberano was cast as the new Darna in 2017.
However, just two years later in 2019, Soberano ended up with a finger bone industry while shooting her TV show “Bagani.” This meant that she could no longer play the part, and the casting began anew.
During this third round of recasting, many people (including me, sure, but, like, also Lea Salonga and Jessy Mendiola) wanted to see a morena Darna this time. Using the hashtag #SigawDarna, many started fancasting “Darna” with different morena celebs: Maymay Entrata, Kathryn Bernado, Ylona Garcia and Lustre (of course).
But shortly after, a relative newcomer was announced as the new Darna: Jane de Leon.
That wasn’t the only problem associated with the “Darna” movie, though. When it was first announced, it was hailed as an Erik Matti vehicle. However, the director famously left the project in 2018 due to creative differences, with Tarog stepping in as his replacement.
There’s so many what-could’ve-beens with this movie. What would’ve a Nadine Lustre-starring, Erik Matti “Darna” look like? We’ll never know, and that’s a shame.