Multi-awarded crime thriller On the Job (OTJ) is getting a serialized treatment. This was announced in a press conference last week with Erik Matti together with Reality Entertainment’s Dondon Monteverde and HOOQ CEO Peter Bithos.
The film, which premise revolves around contract-killers, corrupt government officials and their victims, was screened and had a world premiere in the Directors’ Fortnight at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival in France where it received a two-minute standing ovation. Then, it was screened at Puchon International Fantastic Film Festival in South Korea where it won the Jury Prize with Joel Torre as Best Actor.
The six-episode adaptation of the film, which starred Piolo Pascual, Joel Torre and Gerald Anderson, is set to begin production this month. It will be shown later this year exclusively on HOOQ and will be released internationally to its other markets such as Thailand, India and Indonesia.
As interest builds up on the remake of OTJ, it’s logical to ask whether or not the original cast members Pascual and Anderson (specifically) who gave intense and memorable performances will be back in the mini-series version of the film. Without giving away too much, Matti told The Standard what the audience could expect from OTJ, the series.
“We are already completing the story line for each episode and we are thinking of bringing back some familiar faces in the film but of course we are going to tell you that in a separate announcement.”
HOOQ’s Peter Bithos concured the filmmaker’s answer saying, “We’re giving Erik and Reality [Entertainment] full creative control. They could bring back the characters that they want and they could tell the stories that they want [to tell]. That’s what we are here to do, and as Erik finalizes everything, we look forward to be coming back in July to tell which characters Erik decides to bring back. I’m eagerly awaiting as well.”
Matti added that they would endeavor to stay faithful to the original version but since they are given ample time to explore the story’s characters, they are planning to highlight more conflicts and give subplots a detailed treatment.
“HOOQ allows as to expand the world, expand the characters, tell their stories a little more in-depth than what a two-hour film can afford,” the filmmaker explained.
Though other people might think that doing a six-episode series would pose a difficult challenge to expand a certain kind of story, the filmmaker assured that for something like On the Job that follows so many characters and tries to put together so many complicated layers of the society, a six to eight- episode series is nothing but exciting to explore.
“Most of the films we make, Dondon [Monteverde] gets to see them from the first cut. They always go beyond the two-hour running time because there’s just so much to say in a film,” he explained.
Matti was also ecstatic when they made the announcement that OTJ will be turned into a video-in-demand series not only because the film will be made available to HOOQ’s 180,000 paying subscribers in the Philippines alone, but also because this landmark co-production will pave the way to other local talents to be given a spotlight in this media platform.