Award-winning actress Iza Calzado cited "recession" as the main reason that the Hollywood adaptation of Yam Laranas' horror film Sigaw failed to make it to theaters in the U.S.
The movie, titled The Echo by its American producers, went straight to DVD release in 2008.
Iza was the only holdover from the original Filipino cast though she still had to audition to bag the role of Gina. The main characters were eventually portrayed by foreign actors Jesse Bradford, Kevin Durand and Amelia Warner.
Yam Laranas also directed the remake version, with Eric Bernt and Shintaro Shimosawa sharing scriptwriting credits.
"I was very happy that it was being remade not only because I was part of it. Siyempre when I became part of it malaking bagay lalo na sa akin, pero wala man ako dun magiging excited and happy pa rin ako sa idea na a Filipino movie [na] kasali ako sa original version tapos ipapalabas sa America," Iza proudly told PEP (Philippine Entertainment Portal) in a recent interview at the GMA Network Center in Quezon City.
HIT BY RECESSION. The crippling effect of the global recession that struck in 2007 and continues to be felt until now unfortunately hindered the film's exhibition in the States, according to Iza.
"A lot of it had to do with recession," said Iza. "Kasi at the time na kagagawa pa lang nung film, 2007 nag-start na 'yong recession and by 2008 na dapat target nilang ipalabas 'yong film hirap na hirap na din ang film industry ng America. Kasi when I was chatting with the producers one time, he said, 'It's really hard right now. There are a thousand-plus movies waiting to be released.'"
Even the critically-acclaimed British film Slumdog Millionaire, continued Iza, almost didn't make it. Slumdog Millionaire initially had a limited North American release but positive reviews coupled with word of mouth earned the interest of big production firms thus allowing it to be screened in theaters not just in America but even worldwide.
"Of course this [The Echo] is a horror film. Hindi mo naman hahanapan 'to ng ganung recognition. It's a good film but nagkataon lang siguro na marami ring magagandang films," Iza rationalized.
Chasing a Hollywood career remains an appealing option for the recently crowned Golden Screen Awards Best Actress but definitely not an urgent priority at this point.
"Sana ganahan ako na i-pursue 'yon. Hindi ko naman kasi naging focus 'yon," smiled Iza.