The next and virtual EFM is set to launch on March 1, wherein you can expect tons of news on film development and acquisitions to arise. Nilalang and Maria director Pedring Lopez will especially be on hand for his own projects, including one that will finally see Indonesian action stalwarts Cecep Arif Rahman and Yayan Ruhian of The Raid franchise and John Wick 3 fame, together on set once more.
Lopez took to social media on Wednesday to celebrate, although official title and any and all details about the project are currently under wraps until the announcements are made via EFM and trade news reports.
“I’ve been working on this project in secret for a while, even during the pandemic.” Lopez tells Film Combat Syndicate. “You know what it is with Cecep and Yayan [laughs], but what they’re planning is brutal and bloody!”
Rahman and Ruhian (also in tow for the previously announced Jailbreak sequel and are currently involved with Indonesian superhero thriller, Satria Dewa: Gatotkaca) were, in fact, set to join Lopez for a sequel to hit revenge thriller, Maria. I’m told that Netflix holds the sequel rights, and so on top of all things pandemic-related, the fate of Christine Reyes-led Filipino action vehicle still remains to be seen.
The pandemic also forced Lopez and his BlackOps Studios Asia banner to put a hold on espionage rescue actioner, CounterPlay, starring Sam Worthington (Avatar, Terminator: Salvation), announced early last year. That project remains pending while Lopez now looks toward shooting hopefully within the year as he and his team are currently in prep and working on the visas.
I am also told that Ruhian and Rahman are being joined by a Korean star as well. There’s no word or hint I can provide there, though I have my own favorites in mind.
Scott Rosenfelt (Home Alone, Critical Thinking) is producing the pic alongside BlackOps’s own Maia Yambao-Lopez and the rest of the team, with Marol Eugenio shepherding fight scene duties for Filipino stunt crew, Redline Action Design, and with Rahman on action choreography. LA-based Blue Fox is repping international sales on the project, while Viva Films, which released Maria locally in 2019, is repping sales on Lopez’s newest BlackOps produced horror thriller, Santo Biyernes (Good Friday), which is currently in post-production.
View Lopez’s Instagram post below!
Update: A previous version of this article noted that Blue Fox was representing Lopez’s Santo Biyernes (Good Friday).