More than three months ago, Jane de Leon felt deeply saddened when Star Cinema announced the postponement of Darna film.
Although she said she understands that safety should come first, especially amid the COVID-19 pandemic, the 21-year-old actress, the latest star to take on the titular role, was emotionally affected. Thus, it was a big surprise for her when ABS-CBN chief operating officer of broadcast Cory Vidane's announced on Dec. 4, during the special contract signing of several Star Magic artists, that the much-awaited ABS-CBN project Darna is set to fly as a TV series in 2021.
“Tuloy na tuloy na po ang paglipad ni Darna. Ngayong 2021 na po ang Mars Ravelo’s Darna: The TV Series,” said Vidanes.
She also announced that Jane de Leon will portray the iconic Filipino superheroine in the TV series during the event, wherein Jane was among the stars who renewed their contract with the network’s talent management arm.
“Everything flashed back when it was announced that I’m going to play the lead role in the movie version. The big bosses were present during the announcement. The feeling is the same, the overwhelming feeling to know that the project is pushing through, not as a film, but a television series,” Jane said during a virtual interview during the contract signing.
“I’m overwhelmed by the happiness I feel. I am so excited for the next chapters of my life. It’s another dream come true. I have so much gratitude for our bosses because until now, they still entrust me with Darna’s stone,” she added.
Apart from Jane, the artists who also renewed their ties with ABS-CBN were Kim Chiu, leading men Enchong Dee, JM De Guzman, and Joseph Marco, MYX VJ and host Robi Domingo, and teen actresses Andrea Brillantes and Kira Balinger. They were joined by Star Hunt’s newest P-Pop groups, BINI, and SHA Boys.
Kim, who led Star Cinema's horror offering U-Turn, will star in a new series titled Bawal Lumabas under Dreamscape Entertainment set to be released on Dec. 14. She is currently hosting It’s Showtime and can be watched regularly in ASAP Natin ‘To.
Pinoy Big Brother Connect host, Netflix film Alter Me top-biller Enchong will star in an upcoming inspirational series titled Huwag Kang Mangamba with Gold Squad member Andrea. Joining them are the other Gold Squad artists namely Francine Diaz, Kyle Echarri, and Seth Fedelin.
JM, who last starred in Pamilya Ko is geared to be back on television with a new series titled Init sa Magdamag with Gerald Anderson and Yam Concepcion. Fans can also watch him in an upcoming Star Cinema movie.
Meanwhile, Joseph, who recently joined the Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin cast, will be part of two Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) entries this year.
Robi is currently hosting Pinoy Big Brother Connect, which kicked off on Dec. 6 on Kapamilya Online Live, Kapamilya Channel, A2Z channel 11, and Kumu. Apart from PBB, he is also the host of Game KNB? which streams worldwide across multiple platforms including TFC, TFC IPTV, and on the streaming app Kumu through the @gknb account.
Kira, who plays Hope in Ang Sa Iyo Ay Akin, also signed up with Star Magic. Fans of Kira and Grae Fernandez can expect to watch the “KiRae” loveteam in a teleserye and online project to be announced soon.
On the other hand, Star Hunt’s new girl group BINI and rising talented boy group SHA Boys also signed up to be part of Star Magic. Comprising BINI are Aiah, Colet, Maloi, Gwen, Stacey, Mikha, Jhoanna, and Sheena; while the SHA Boys include Gelo, Mikki, Akira, Nate, and JL.
Meanwhile, ABS-CBN chairman Mark Lopez thanked the artists for their trust and expressed optimism for the coming year.
“As a new year is about to begin, we remain hopeful and positive with our artists, our ABS-CBN leaders, our employees, and most especially our loyal followers. We know we will be able to soar to new heights as we continue to serve the Filipinos worldwide,” he said.
ABS-CBN president and chief executive officer Carlo Katigbak, on the other hand, emphasized that being a Kapamilya is not just a job but a calling to serve. He thanked the Star Magic artists for standing by the network despite the challenges it is currently facing.
“Today, I want to thank the stars who represent ABS-CBN to the world outside. Kayo ang nagbibigay ng liwanag at ligaya sa ating mga Kapamilya. Thank you for choosing to be part of our mission, thank you for believing in our company, and thank you for supporting us in our most difficult moments,” Katigbak said.
Katigbak ended his speech by introducing Laurenti Dyogi as the new head of Star Magic who also expressed his gratitude to the Kapamilya artists who stayed and signed up with the talent agency.
“Star Magic is known to produce, to hone, and to manage the brightest and most talented stars in Philippine show business, and today we continue this legacy and tradition,” said Dyogi, who assumes his new role in Star Magic starting January 2021 concurrent to his current position as head of TV Production.
“As we welcome new artists to the Star Magic family, we also want to express our deepest gratitude to the Star Magic artists who chose to stay with us as we continue to rebuild and explore new opportunities,” he ended.