Director Jerrold Tarrog confirms that Paulo Avelino will be part of the Star Cinema adaptation of Darna.
Darna, an adaptation of the Mars Ravelo komiks classic, will be top-billed by Star Magic actress Jane De Leon. She bested 300 other girls who auditioned for the chance to play the Pinay superheroine.
Tarrog revealed Paulo's inclusion in the cast during his live session on Cinema '76's Facebook Page on April 8.
Tarrog says, "Lumabas na iyong si Paulo ay kasama sa cast, totoo iyon."
Prior to this project, Tarrog directed the films Heneral Luna (2015) and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral (2018).
As for the names of Jane and Paulo's co-stars, Tarrog says that he was made to sign a non-disclosure agreement.
He elaborates, "Iyan iyong naka-NDA. Alam ko may plan iyong marketing for announcing the cast, so ayoko muna silang unahan."
"Marami pang actors na kasama. Hintayin na lang natin iyong marketing, kasi baka masira ko iyong plano nila!"
In February 2020, Paulo's manager, Leo V. Dominguez, revealed through Instagram that Paulo will be Jane's leading man in Darna.
Darna shooting before the quarantine
Darna is one of the would-be big movies affected by the enhanced community quarantine due to COVID-19.
ABS-CBN Films has temporarily stopped production on all of its movies.
Before this, Tarrog and the Darna team have already wrapped up 16 shooting days. In fact, before community quarantine was implemented, they were already planning to shoot one of Jane's big action scenes.
The director admits, "Sayang, kasi before nag-quarantine, we were already about to shoot one of the biggest action scenes doon sa pelikula. May fight scene na sana kaming isu-shoot noong end of March."
Even then, Tarrog is very happy with the rough cuts of the film and with Jane's performance.
"Base doon sa mga na-edit na namin na rough cut, I'm really happy with how it's going so far. Jane de Leon is doing really, really good.
"Nae-excite ako for Jane. Gusto ko matapos iyong pelikula para makita ng mga tao iyong trabaho niya."
Tarrog was asked during the Facebook Live session about Jane's audition, and why she was picked from among those who tried out for the role.
He explains, "Kapag kinilig ka na sa audition pa lang, alam mo nang may magagawa siyang maganda. That's what happened with Jane actually. May ginawa siyang mga bagay na nakakakilig panoorin.
"May mga iba na magagaling din, pero si Jane iyong pinaka may tamang balance ng qualities para makuwento iyong coming-of-age story na gagawin namin for Darna."