Coco Martin: 'Ang Panday' remake will be 'very different' from previous films

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, December 1) — Actor Coco Martin has become a household name for playing the lead role in the TV action-drama "Ang Probinsyano."

The series, which began in 2015, is a TV adaptation of the 1997 film of the same title that starred the late "King of Philippine Movies" Fernando Poe Jr., also known as "FPJ."

For his directorial debut, Martin — using his real name, Rodel Nacianceno — decided to make a reboot of another classic FPJ film, "Ang Panday."

"Through success ng "Ang Probinsyano," what if ganito "Ang Panday?" Martin told CNN Philippines of why he chose the film.

[Translation: What if "Ang Panday" could follow the success of "Ang Probinsyano?]

"Humingi muna ako ng blessing ni Tita Susan Roces," Martin added, referring to FPJ's veteran actress wife. "Um-agree siya, kasi nakita niya siguro the way na paano ko iniingatan yung legacy ni FPJ."

[Translation: I first asked Susan Roces' blessing. She agreed because I think she saw the way I cared for FPJ's legacy.]


Martin likened his experience behind the camera to having a child.

"Ikaw yung nag-detalye ng mata, ng tenga, kung ano yung magiging gusto mong itsura," he said. "Kumbaga, ikaw na ikaw."

[Translation: You detailed the eyes, the ears, what you want it to look like. In a sense, it really reflects you.]

Martin added that working with great team members, whom he handpicked, helped him bring his vision to life.

The original "Ang Panday" film debuted in 1980 and starred FPJ. It is based on the Filipino comic book character of the same name created by writer Carlo J. Caparas and artist Steve Gan.

It follows the adventures of a "panday" or blacksmith named Flavio, who fights monsters using a magical sword forged from a meteorite.

Following FPJ's film, two more films were produced in 2009 and 2011, starring actor and detained former senator Bong Revilla.]

Related: Ex-senator Revilla skips first day of plunder trial

Martin said he watched all of the previous "Ang Panday" adaptations to develop a different concept for the upcoming film, where he also plays the lead role as Flavio's grandson.

"Tinitignan ko yung rule, kasi may rule yung "Panday,"" he said. "Kumbaga, kung ano yung partisipasyon nung black book, paano yung espada. Gusto ko magkaibang-magkaibang-magkaiba."

[Translation: I look at the rules, because "Ang Panday" has rules. For instance, I looked at the participation of the black book and the sword. I wanted it to be completely different.]

However, Martin said he does not want to be portrayed as the "next FPJ."

"Nahihiya ako," he said. "Ang pinaka-ayaw ko na maisip ng mga tao, ginagaya ko si FPJ. Gusto ko gawin yung mga pelikula ni FPJ kasi gusto ko siya i-introduce sa mga bagong henerasyon."

[Translation: I'm ashamed. What I really don't like is for people to think that I'm imitating FPJ. I want to do FPJ's films because I want to introduce him to the next generations.]

Martin said FPJ's movies embody "very Pinoy" values, in contrast to what is normally seen in Hollywood films.

Martin, a former waiter, got his big break in the 2005 independent film "Masahista," where he portrayed the lead role of  a young man who gave massages to gay men.

Related: From ‘Masahista’ to ‘Ang Probinsyano’: Coco Martin’s indelible appeal

"Ang Panday" debuts on December 25 at the 2017 Metro Manila Film Festival.