Ever since it was rumored that James Reid will topbill the reimagined version of Filipino superhero Pedro Penduko by Francisco Conching, fans have been quite vocal about their feelings on the matter, expressing apprehensions about why James could not do justice to the role.
One of their main issues is James’ need to improve his tagalog, which is quite a legitimate point, and the other is the fact that it won’t be a Jadine movie. Another point is whether Viva would be able to pull off the execution of such an epic film because of the technical aspects of it.
As I did a little bit of snooping, I learned that this Pedro Penduko is a retelling of the classic Pinoy icon by Regee Estolan, Jerome Jagonia, Dennis Crisostomo and Randy Monces and illustrates the modern version as a Filipino-American based on a new graphic novel Pedro Penduko: The Legend Begins. I guess this settles the part of whether James could pull off the part with his broken tagalog and answers the question as to whether he was even considered for the role in the first place.
As to whether Viva can pull off the CGI, I could not guarantee this but if they are planning to plunk down a huge amount of cash for the film, I would assume that they would work with a good graphics team. Besides, Janno Gibbs’ Pedro Penduko was okay and the graphics then were not as advanced as it is today. It was a Viva production too so its possible.
The next one is a doozy. Its not a Jadine movie. I figured this much when the idea of a James Reid- Pedro Penduko was floated. For some reason, I knew this was going to be the main challenge — pairing off James with somebody else. It was going to be a big challenge.
I for one, don’t think that its a good idea because the level of possessiveness that fans feel for James is uncanny. Its Naddie or no one. Period, no erase. Its stifling and limiting for James as an actor but I don’t think fans are ready to accept James with anyone other than Nadine at this point. I would suggest to Viva that if they pursue the Penduko movie, to simply focus on the character and his adventures and do away with the love angle altogether. Sorry to say but that’s the only workaround to the threats of boycott. Fans can accept James without a love interest but not a love interest that is not Nadine. (Maybe when we’re more mature)
I would suggest to Viva that if they pursue the Penduko movie, to simply focus on the character and his adventures and do away with the love angle altogether. That’s the only way they could appease the Jadine fans.
As a fan, I think that James really could pull off this role. This guy is a consummate professional and would not accept a job unless he thinks he can do it. Remember the hours he spent to perfect the handstand for that Manulife ad? Remember the 20 something hours he had to shoot that epic Century Tuna ad without complaint? Come on. He deserves this chance to play a Pinoy icon. He deserves this break.
Here are just some of the reasons why I believe he could pull it off:
- The new Pedro Penduko is a Fil Am. James would most willingly work on his tagalog, but the millenial version of the Pinoy icon is a Fil Am so casting James, who is a Fil Aussie, should not be a problem. Fans only need to detach themselves from the idea of the original version of Pedro Penduko to see the potential.
- Physically fit. James is a gymnast and a dancer, plus he’s very dedicated to training. I see no reason that he could not pull off the physically demanding requirements of the role.
- A good actor. James has proven his versatility as an actor time and again. He has great comedic timing and an intensity in the dramatic scenes. Personifying such a likeable character as Pedro would not be an issue. He will embrace this character and make it believable. No doubt about it.
- Coolness personifed. If you want someone cool and relatable to the millenials, which is the new graphic novel’s target audience, James has what it takes and more.Plus his fan base is not limited to the younger set. He appeals to the older market as well.
While I don’t know the backstory for all these negative reactions, I would like to at least appeal to fans to give James a chance to grow as an actor. When Nadine was floated as a possible Darna, we were so excited for her and that was a further shot than James as Pedro Penduko because Viva already has the rights to the character. This is a big break that James deserves. Lets not begrudge him this opportunity until we read the book, or until more details are revealed. Alright?
Let’s keep the good vibes flowing, everyone. Cheers!