Fans, followers, Angel Locsin herself and her home studio were hopeful that after getting treatment for her back injury, she could still play the iconic heroine in the beloved Mars Ravelo classic.
In 2016, Locsin and her home network, ABS-CBN revealed that a disc bulge in her spine had been detected during the actress’ training for Star Cinema’s upcoming big screen adaptaion of Darna. The management agreed for Locsin to undergo treatment and return to her training once she has fully recovered.
However, in her comeback, Locsin still experienced back pains, prompting the actress and the management to mutually call off the project.
ABS-CBN Integrated Corporate Communications head Kane Errol Choa explained the surrounding circumstances of Locsin’s pullout of the role in an official statement sent to The Manila Times.
“ABS-CBN, Star Cinema, and Angel Locsin have mutually arrived at a final decision that she will no longer pursue the ‘Darna’ movie due to her medical situation,” Choa said.
“We gave Angel our full support during and after her treatment in the hopes that she would portray the iconic Filipino heroine… Unfortunately, Angel experienced back pain twice during training, prompting her doctor to advise her not to participate in strenuous activities to avoid permanent damage on her spine,” he further explained.
“We would have loved to see Angel fly again as Darna and take our hats off to her for the gargantuan efforts she has put in for the project,” the network executive continued.
“We wish her well as she will begin working on other projects, like a special role in La Luna Sangre with John Lloyd Cruz, a movie with James Reid, a movie with Coco Martin and a teleserye,” concluded Choa.
It could be remembered that Locsin played the popular flying heroine on GMA in 2005 before her transfer to ABS-CBN.
Darna, which debuted as a newspaper comics strip on January 16, 1939, first made a crossover into film in 1951 starring Rosa Del Rosario produced and directed by Fernando Poe Sr.
With four Darna movies under her name, Vilma Santos has been considered as the most popular actress to play the heroine. Lorna Tolentino also flew as Darna in a TV series while Anjanette Abayari and Nanette Medved both essayed the role on the big screen under Viva Films. The latest to play the role was Marian Rivera through a GMA teleserye in 2009.
Search for new Darna
Even before the formal announcement of Locsin’s pullout, fans had already been choosing who could next fill in the shoes and the costume. Among those touted to best essay the role are Liza Soberano, Maja Salvador, Nadine Lustre, Kathryn Bernardo, Sarah Geronimo, Julia Barretto and Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach.
In a Facebook survey made by ABS-CBN PR manager Aaron Domingo on Tuesday, aside from the names already mentioned, fans are also pitching for Anne Curtis, Arci Muñoz and Ellen Adarna. One commenter even suggested a new face in the person of Miss Universe Philippines 2016 Maxine Medina.
Whoever that new actress maybe, Locsin, in an interview with ABS-CBN’s MJ Felipe, said she will be supporting her.
“I’m very excited for her and I’m already supporting her 100-percent. Sana ay suportahan din natin. Kung gaano ninyo ako sinuportahan ay ibigay natin sa kanya kasi naniniwala talaga ako sa kanya,” she averred.
“I can’t wait for ABS-CBN to announce the new Darna. I think matutuwa ang lahat. May pinipili sila, pero wala pang final. May bet ako at tingin ko siya [ang]mapipili. I can teach her, I can guide her,” Locsin happily expressed.