Paul Soriano clarified that his Metro Manila Film Fest (MMFF) entry Siargao has nothing to do with Jericho Rosales quitting from the other competing entry All Of You.
Siargao—which is topbilled by Jericho, Erich Gonzales, and Jasmine Curtis—is produced by Paul’s film company Ten17 Productions.
According to Direk Paul, he already finished filming Siargao weeks before it was announced that the film All of You was among the first four official entries of MMFF 2017.
The 36-year-old director/producer explained, “We shot the film April pa, e. So with regards to the other projects the other actors had, I really didn’t know.
“It wasn’t a conflict while we were shooting Siargao.
“Jericho, Erich and Jasmine were technically locked-in in Siargao for about six weeks.
“And I only found out after the shoot that there was other possible commitments.
“But the film of Siargao was already done in May. So, if he did have other projects, I guess, we have to ask them.”
Paul gave this statement during the press announcement of the eight official entries to MMFF 2017 held at Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan City.
For his part, Paul went on to say that he offered Jericho to star in Siargao during the latter part of 2016.
“Actually, with Jericho naman, we've been friends all this time. And we’ve always wanted to work together.
“Trivia pa rin, Jericho is supposed to be in Transit.
“But due to scheduling conflicts, you know, it happens in the industry—he couldn’t make it, so we have to push forward.”
Paul was referring to the indie film Transit, starring Jasmine Curtis, that he produced for Cinemalaya 2013. Aside from Jasmine,the film also starred Ping Medina and Irma Adlawan.
Since then, Paul said that he and Jericho have remained in constant communication about when they can finally do a project together.
“So when Siargao is being written, when the script is done, I texted Jericho, 'I have a film for you.’
“This was mga 2016. Sabi niya, ‘Pare, sige, game!’ We met, he liked the idea.
“Jericho came on board as early as late 2016. He was also very creative in the process of the script, creating his character.
“And then by April, May, June we were shooting the film already.”
Paul submitted Siargao in the form of a finished film and it was chosen as one of the last four entries that made it to MMFF 2017’s Magic 8.
It was on June 29 when the MMFF officials announced the first four official entries, in the form of script submissions, that made it to the December festival.
The script for the movie All of You, which supposedly co-headlines Jericho and Jennylyn Mercado, was among the entries that got in.
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But on August 4, Journal Online reported that Derek Ramsay is replacing Jericho in the MMFF entry All of You.
During the Love Will Lead You back presscon last September 30, Jericho said that he backed out of All of You because of personal reasons.
The 38-year-old Kapamilya actor explained, "Di lang ako preparado ngayon because... hindi ko naman gustong gamitin yung tatay ko or something, but I just realized na hindi ako preparado para sa mga proyekto this year since ang daming events na nangyari sa akin.
"Medyo nahirapan ako, medyo nag-iba yung direksyon ng mga gusto kong gawin."