Bea Alonzo, Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan to Star in an Upcoming Hollywood Film About the Philippines

Bea Alonzo and Maricel Laxa-Pangilinan will be starring in “1521”! The upcoming film will depict the events of the historic Battle of Mactan. This also marks the first time that a Hollywood production is making a project about the Philippines in the country itself while also featuring Filipino actors.

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It will be directed by Filipino-American director Michael Copon, whose early works include “Power Rangers” and “One Tree Hill”. Copon will also star as Lapu-Lapu, the Filipino hero who successfully vanquished Portuguese conquistador Ferdinand Magellan and his army in their attempt to colonize the island.

Alonzo and Laxa-Pangilinan will be playing as sisters named Diwata and Ahmani. According to the director, Laxa-Pangilinan was cast for her beauty and poise, and that she “embodied the powerful Filipina woman”. Meanwhile, he was drawn to Alonzo’s bashfulness upon searching for someone with a nature akin to Rachel McAdams. Copon is definitely excited to direct her in her first Hollywood role.

Reports say that the film’s production has already began in Palawan. The province is also home to its producer, Francis Lara Ho. The US-based Fiipino producer also revealed that they started conceptualizing with Copon in April, with the desire to tell Filipino stories of heroism and culture. What was supposed to be a documentary about Lapu-Lapu eventually turned into a full-length feature.

However, it was also clarified that “1521” is not entirely a historical film, but a love story set against the backdrop of war. It was said to be more like “Pocahontas” and “Braveheart,” yet it was still inspired by historical documents.

“1521” is set to be released on Philippine Independence Day next year–June 12, 2023.

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