In the works or not, an ABS-CBN remake of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ a tall order

April 3, 2018 - 3:47 PM
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Angel Locsin and Liza Soberano are two of the actresses ABS-CBN pitches to fans for a possible role of Galadriel and Arwen for a local remake of "The Lord of the Rings." (New Line Cinema | ABS-CBN PR)

Highlights:

  • A Facebook poll on a fantasy casting for fantasy epic “The Lord of the Rings” raised some eyebrows.
  • At least $251 million or P12 billion is needed to franchise the classic.

MANILA, Philippines (Updated April 4, 9:11 a.m.) — ABS-CBN seems to be delegating casting decisions to social media in conducting informal polls on a supposed Filipino remake of “The Lord of the Rings” franchise.

Last week, the Kapamilya network polled Facebook users on actors and actresses they think would be best to play the main characters in JRR Tolkien’s classic trilogy — Lady Galadriel, Arwen Undómiel, Legolas Greenleaf and Frodo Baggins — if a remake were in the works.

“Sa mga Kapamilya actresses na ito, sino ang gusto niyong gumanap bilang si Galadriel kung magkakaroon ng remake ang ‘The Lord of the Rings’?” one of the posts says.

ABS-CBN, however, has yet to formally announce if there is any serious pursuit to produce a Filipino version of the epic. The polling came ahead of the network’s Holy Week Filipino-dubbed television broadcast of Peter Jackson’s acclaimed trilogy.

Graphics of a Facebook poll by ABS-CBN. (ABS-CBN Entertainment)

While many chose their picks, not everyone welcomed the idea. Fans questioned the television giant’s ability to equal the award-winning production.

“Dear ABS-CBN, please don’t ruin the movie. You will just humiliate yourself. I’m pretty sure you cannot give justice to it,” commented one Facebook user.

Another Facebook user asked to respect the vision of the author: “LOTR is the best movie with good graphics and good story. Kung hindi pa kayang pantayan, ‘wag na muna i-remake!”

Some could not believe that ABS-CBN is actually planning to produce its own version of the trilogy.

For the roles of Galadriel and Arwen, users were asked to choose from:

  1. Arci Munoz
  2. Angel Locsin
  3. Anne Curtis-Smith
  4. Pia Wurtzbach
  5. Liza Soberano
  6. Kathryn Bernardo
  7. Nadine Lustre

For the roles of Legolas and Frodo, users were asked to choose from:

  1. Daniel Padilla
  2. James Reid
  3. Enrique Gil
  4. Nash Aguas
  5. Jerome Ponce
  6. McCoy de Leon
  7. Joshua Garcia

Alongside reactions panning the plan, other users answered the poll and placed their bets on their favorite actor and actress.

“I love Kathryn pero parang mas babagay si Nadine (to play Arwen) because of her face kasi fierce and matapang, kasi si Kath angelic ang face n’ya ‘di bagay sa mga ganong character ‘yung pang matapang and palaban. Just sayin’ tho. #nohate,” commented a Facebook user.

Other Facebook users chose Nash Aguas and Joshua Garcia to play ring bearer Frodo.

Too ambitious? Here’s what it takes to do a remake

A supposed project would be a tall order for the leading local network because of budgeting and licensing issues.

Amazon-owned television network Amazon Studios announced that it would make a TV series based on Tolkien’s three novels. But it reportedly had to pay around $250 million for the rights alone from Tolkien Estate. The budget for the series itself would need at least a fresh $1 million.

It is likely, however, that the polls were just exploratory. Last March 28, the Kapamilya network released a similar Facebook poll asking if Yassi Pressman, Erich Gonzales, Liza Soberano or Jodi Sta. Maria would play the Virgin Mary for Lenten show.

Despite garnering many responses, ABS-CBN did not release any Lenten special for the Holy Week.

Editor’s Note: Story has been updated to make clearer that the polling done on Facebook was hypothetical.