Jane de Leon never lost hope even during the time when it seems that ABS-CBN's remake of Mars Ravelo's Darna will never see the light.
- Jane De Leon's Darna pushes through in 2021; to air as TV series first before movie
- Chito Roño, ididirek ang first two weeks ng Darna TV series; Jane de Leon, naisukat na ang Darna costume
It was on July 17, 2019 when ABS-CBN management announced that Jane was chosen to be the next Darna.
It was supposed to be a movie under ABS-CBN's film outfit, ABS-CBN Film Productions, with director Jerrold Tarrog at the helm of the project.
But the movie got derailed when ABS-CBN's franchise renewal application was rejected by the Congress in July 2020.
It was around this time when Jane received the unfortunate news that Darna The Movie will no longer push through.
Recounting her talks with the ABS-CBN bosses, Jane said: "Actually, nung kasagsagan ng ABS-CBN na pinag-uusapan yung sa franchise, nag-Zoom kami lahat ng mga bosses.
"And yun nga po, sinabi nila sa akin na di daw po matutuloy yung movie because of these reasons.
"Pero nung time na yun, sinabi ko na okay lang po. Nagtaka sila lahat, 'Ha? Bakit parang okay lang?' Parang di daw po ako umiyak.
"Sabi ko po, 'Alam ko po kasi na may better plans for me si Lord. Alam ko lahat may reason kung bakit.'"
True enough, ABS-CBN soldiered on despite a lack of franchise.
By November 2020, PEP.ph reported that ABS-CBN's remake of Darna will push through with Jane de Leon as lead actress—not for a movie but a TV adaptation.
Then on October 2021, ABS-CBN announced that director Chito Roño will be the master director of the episodes for the first two weeks. Avel Sunpongco and Benedict Mique were also tapped to be co-directors of the series.
Fast forward to present time, Mars' Ravelo's Darna will finally air on August 15, 2022 via Kapamilya Channel, A2Z, and TV5.
To which, Jane said, "Maraming-maraming salamat sa lahat. Sobrang nakaka-overwhelm.
"Ito na yung pagkakataon para ipakita sa buong mundo yung pinaghirapan ng production.
"Siyempre matagal na ito hinintay ng sambayanang Pilipino at maraming-marami kayong aabangan pagdating sa effects, sa costumes, sa villains, at siyempre sa bagong story ng Darna."
Jane gave this statement during the grand media launch of Darna at ABS-CBN's Dolphy Theater on Monday night, August 8, 2022.
CHITO ROÑO'S ASSESSMENT OF JANE
Veteran director Chito Roño, for his part, applauded Jane for giving her all in portraying Darna.
"Ang problema kay Jane, she had to balance between being Narda and being Darna. Yung Narda, dalawa pang characters, yung bata tsaka yung age ng malaki-laki siya.
"So, andami niyang roles na ginagampanan. It's really a challenge for her as an actress. And I think she did very well."
Talking about Jane meeting other requirements for the role, Chito added, "Mas bata, kailangan maikli buhok mo.
"Siya, no problem magpaputol ng buhok. Kasi we encountered actresses na di maputulan...
"So I'm very pleased, not only is she focused but she's that very well as an actress for Darna."
Long before Jane got on board, the project had been postponed several times because of unforeseen circumstances that led to change of lead stars and directors.
It was originally a movie headlined by Angel Locsin with Erik Matti as director when the project was first announced in 2013. However, in 2015, Angel made the difficult decision to back out of the project due to her slipped disc injury.
Then in 2017, Liza Soberano was chosen to play the iconic Pinoy superheroine role. She was still on board when it was announced that Erik is no longer part of the project and that director Jerold Tarrog will be taking over.
But after working on Darna for roughly two years, Liza was forced to back out of the project after suffering from a finger bone fracture injury.