“This movie is going to be an entry point and a reminder for Indonesian youth that Indonesia has so many intellectual properties. Gundala is not the only famous comic character. I have been asking young children about Gundala and other characters, and they are not aware of them,” Joko said.
The original comic, which spawned up to 23 entries through 1982, was also the crux of director Hanung Bramantyo’s own efforts to adapt the comic book for moviegoers back in 2014 with Erick Tohir at Mahaka Pictures. Anwar’s own take on the franchise will transplant its Yogyakarta-set story to the city of Jakarta for creative purposes.
“Gundala is a very beloved character and this movie wants to be able to depict his spirit. We do need to upgrade its tone and feel into something that is up-to-date. We must make the story accessible to Indonesian moviegoers. We must be able to understand their sensibilities,” Joko said.
Bumilangit Studios’s Imansyah Lubis on the film’s vision:
“The term ‘superhero’ as we know it today is heavily associated with something that is created in the West. We are putting that mindset away, and we are trying to present local wisdom in a new presentation. We cannot share our design of Gundala’s costume yet, but hopefully it’s not disappointing,” he said.
Anwar on franchise execution:
“This first film will talk about the origin of Gundala, and how he became Gundala. We may have plans to develop other Gundala stories beyond this movie,” he said.
“In (HBO series) ‘Halfworlds,’ I tried to present the many faces of our ghosts. Now, I want to display our very own superheroes.”
Satan Slaves is still making the festival rounds with a Vintage Film Festival premiere slated for April 29 in Canada, while Anwar plots his current involvement as one of several directors attached to deliver segments of HBO Asia’s horror anthology drama series, Folklore, later this year.