Hopefully, third time’s the charm for ABS-CBN’s Darna as the Kapamilya network has finally cast a new actress for the titular role. Star Magic talent Jane De Leon will take on the role of Darna, edging out nearly 300 others who auditioned for the much-coveted role. De Leon has previously appeared in other Kapamilya network productions like Halik and La Luna Sangre. She was also a mainstay on the noontime show It’s Showtime as a member of Girltrends.
Though the 20-year-old is a fresh face in the industry, her audition greatly impressed the likes of Olivia Lamasan, Lauren Dyogi, and Darna director Jerrold Tarog. De Leon’s instinctive acting brought something new to the table that caught their attention. When the time came to choose, De Leon’s name emerged as a unanimous decision.
The upcoming film remake is expected to be a genesis story of the famed heroine. Lamasan shared that it would take on a coming-of-age theme, which necessitated that they choose an actress who could embody both Darna’s youthful innocence and strong character.
Before De Leon was chosen, other Kapamilya actresses had been cast for the role. Angel Locsin, who played Darna in a 2005 TV series, initially signed on in 2014 for the project but had to let go due to a back injury. Her successor Liza Soberano also gave up Darna for medical reasons after sustaining a severe finger injury while filming the TV series Bagani. Soberano has since undergone surgery but chose to forego the role. Award-winning director Erik Matti later passed on the reins of the film to Tarog due to creative differences with Star Cinema. The series of unfortunate departures initially left many wondering if the remake would still push through.
Fans still have a ways to go before Tarog’s expected release of the film in 2020 but there’s no doubt that many are excited to see De Leon shout the ever-iconic “Darna!”