Matti further elucidated he was in tow with other female-led projects as well, a point amplified by what Scott notes as Matti’s motivation “to cater for what in his country is now a predominantly female audience”.
“The male audience has slowly shifted to just watching sports events on TV or mostly watching big well-polished Hollywood films,” Matti tells Scott.
“I thought we’d have a fresh take on an action hero in having a female protagonist, but the length of production saw a resurgence of female-driven action movies from Hollywood like Atomic Blond and Tomb Raider that sort of made ours look like we’re riding on a certain trend.”
The news also comes undoubtedly following other recent success in Southeast Asia with the proliferation of other female led titles in the last several years, namely Scott’s centerpiece action thriller, Furie, starring Veronica Ngo.
The list goes on with actress Sherina Munaf who staked her claim in the action adventure, 212 Warrior, out of Indonesia. Even the Philippines’ Pedring Lopez earned his accolades with the release of revenge thriller, Maria, starring Cristine Reyes in her debut in the action genre which continues as developments remain for Maria 2.
“Having a female protagonist in the story balances off the ‘machismo’ of the film and lends a lot more vulnerability and sensitivity to the point of view of the film.” Matti added.
BuyBust was a more than formidable effort from Matti in his push to bring serious, leveled-up action to the forefront of the industry in the Philippines conjoined with the dedication of stunt director, internationally-known fight coordinator Sonny Sison.
Featuring Anne Curtis and MMA star Brandon Vera, BuyBust unfolds its riveting tale often seen as a social commentary echoing the current drug enforcement laws under the Duterte governement.
Curtis plays Nina, a newly-inducted rookie in a tactical police unit assigned to infiltrate a slum for an undercover drug raid (or “buybust”) when their cover is blown, unleashing a deadly evening storm of violence with a rising body count, followed by a shocking twist by the end.
Following several Philippines release date movements, BuyBust had its closing event premiere for the 17th New York Asian Film Festival with Curtis, Vera and Matti in attendance last July. The film finally opened in the Philippines on August 1 before screening in select theaters in North America on August 10.
Further details on the sequel are not available while Matti plots other projects that also lie in wait, including a sequel to 2014 hit film, On The Job, and a feature film building on his sci-fi concept, Yo! with Taekwondo champion Pauline Lopez.