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Isko Moreno chosen to play Andres Bonifacio in film
Moreno (center) with Dondon Monteverde (left) and Erik Matti, producer and director, respectively, of the upcoming Bonifacio film. (Inset) Andres Bonifacio’s great-granddaughter Susan Distrito Meyer with Manila City Mayor Isko Moreno.
Photos courtesy of Regal Entertainment

Isko Moreno chosen to play Andres Bonifacio in film

Nathalie Tomada (The Philippine Star) - June 12, 2021 - 12:00am

Producers behind what has been described as the “ultimate Bonifacio film” have found their lead star.

In a media statement sent to The STAR, film director Erik Matti, producer Dondon Monteverde and Susan Meyer, great-granddaughter of Filipino hero Andres Bonifacio, announced that they have handpicked Manila City Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso to portray Bonifacio in a legacy film project to be produced under Regal Entertainment.

According to Matti and Monteverde, “parallels” in the lives of Mayor Isko and Bonifacio were a major factor in their decision to offer the role to the actor-turned-politician, calling him a “perfect choice” because “aside from their physical resemblance, both were theater actors who hailed from Tondo, Manila. And just like Moreno, the hero’s father, Santiago Bonifacio, was a former Manila mayor.”

In a previous STAR report, Dingdong Dantes, Coco Martin, Jericho Rosales, Alden Richards and even Pasig City Mayor Vico Sotto were among the names being considered for the role.

In the same statement, Meyer, a descendant of Bonifacio, expressed approval over the casting of Moreno as her great-grandfather in the planned epic film.

“Alam kong maka-Bonifacio si Yorme at nadarama din niya ang mga ipinaglaban ni Lolo Andres noon,” Meyer said, particularly citing Moreno’s move to clean up and restore the Bonifacio Shrine beside the Manila City Hall during the first month of his term of office as local chief executive of Manila.

She added, “Sa tingin ko magaling din siya umarte. Hindi ko lang alam kung magaling siya sa action.”

The STAR sought the comment of Moreno, who last appeared in a film in 2019 via 3pol Trobol: Huli Ka Balbon, but he has yet to respond as of presstime.

Several biopics about the “Father of the Philippine Revolution” have been made, such as Bonifacio: Ang Unang Pangulo (2014), Supremo (2012) and Ang Paglilitis ni Andres Bonifacio (2010). But producers have said that the latest Bonifacio film will present “new discoveries on the life of the fallen revolutionary.”

Matti recalled how the project came about: “When we heard the details in Bonifacio’s life that we only heard for the first time, Dondon and I got interested. We’re interested in bringing to light new and fascinating details about a national hero that have not been depicted in the past, hoping that we could understand Bonifacio better than before.”

Tentatively titled Maypagasa, it will also be the BuyBust director’s first-ever period movie.

Matti said, “We want to be able to tell a story about Bonifacio that hasn’t been taught in schools and has never been seen in the many Bonifacio movies made in the past. And we want to make this particular Bonifacio movie relevant to the year 2021.”

Plans for the movie were first revealed early this year, with the filmmaker previously indicating that the production will spare no expense in creating “a world that will ground all historical facts and bring out the kind of life led during the time (1890s).”

Producers are eyeing to begin filming by the end of June.

ISKO MORENO
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