Kapamilya actress Liza Soberano shared her elation when she went on a farewell dinner with former “Darna” director Erik Matti after he resigned.
A few days ago, Matti announced via Instagram that he has resigned from remaking one of the classic Filipino film franchises.
He confirmed ABS-CBN’s statement, saying that “things didn’t work out ideally for both parties.” The company cited that it was due to “creative differences.”
Despite the director’s exit, Soberano expressed her gratitude and said that she would still want to work with him in the future.
Matti also shared the same picture on his Instagram and said, “If there’s anyone who deserves a proper goodbye, it’s you (Liza). Hoping to work with you in the future. Now go fly and kick some fu%$kin’ villain’s ass!”
He previously announced that he believed in her capabilities to play Darna.
When Star Cinema was still considering the actress for the much-coveted role two years ago, Matti declared that Soberano would fit the role because of her ideal physical qualities.
“Si Liza (Soberano), yes puwede. She has the strength physically, ‘yung itsura at katawan. And then tama ‘yung edad and you can do a lot of things sa mukha niya,” he said.
“Puwede siya mag-iba-iba ng itsura and she could still look really good. At the same time, Pinay siya na maganda, pang-Asian. Mahirap ‘yung mestiza eh,” Matti continued.
Liza and her journey as Darna
When Soberano herself confirmed that she bagged the heroine role, most Filipinos were not too pleased.
They argued that she looked “too young” and “fragile” for the role, which required action scenes. They also noted that she had a particular foreign-sounding accent.
Liza Soberano is too young and innocent to play Darna. Baka ma bash lang sya sa pagsuot ng skimpy costume at kita ang cleavage nya.
— ✨Stardom ✨🇵🇭 (@Bitch_Its_Meee) October 27, 2015
Liza Soberano as Darna? Seryoso? Parang di bagay with her accent ❓
— E L A (@_elavanessa) May 24, 2017
Unpopular opinion: I think Liza Soberano is too soft and fragile to be #darna. Still salty because I'm betting Pia Wurtzbach will get it. 😥
— Webster (@websteronhiatus) May 31, 2017
However, Matti consistently defended her and said that she was “a good pick.”
In an interview in June 2017, he said, “She is a good pick because of her features. She could be really sweet and innocent, but at the same time, she could also be fiery, brave and can represent (the spirit of a Filipina).”
One year later, Matti remarked that Soberano’s critics will stop when they eventually see her in “full physical form” once she dons the costume.
He compared the situation to that of Daniel Craig’s in “James Bond,” saying, “When Daniel Craig became James Bond, ang daming nagsabi na iba pa din si Sean Connery.”
“Nung lumabas siya, everyone believed him. I think hindi ‘yan (bashing) mahihinto until they see her and believe her kapag nakita siya na, ‘Ay oo nga, she’s the perfect Darna,'” Matti continued.
He added that look tests have been done to Soberano in both her character’s heroine and human form.
For her part, the actress is currently undergoing intensive physical training for her action scenes since last year. Based on her social media posts, she has boxing sessions and high-intensity interval training, among others.
Soberano cited that she wanted to do her own stunts in the film before, thus her initiative. “I want to look physically strong,” she said.