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Jerrold Tarog finishes script for satirical biopic 'Quezon'

By JUSTINE PUNZALAN Published Jan 21, 2021 12:09 am

Brace yourselves for what could be another riveting hero film from Jerrold Tarog, as the director just finished writing the script for Quezon.

On Thursday, Jan. 20, Tarog teased his Twitter followers with a photo of the cover page of the script, which he wrote in collaboration with playwright and screenwriter Rody Vera.

“Kakatapos lang script. Tingnan natin kung i-aprub,” Tarog tweeted.

Screenshot from @JerroldTarog on Twitter

Quezon is the third installment of TBA Studio’s historical trilogy launched by the cult favorite Heneral Luna in 2015, followed by Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral in 2018.

It will follow the life story of former President Manuel L. Quezon, who made a cameo in the lives of both war heroes. Tarog described the story as “four short films” depicting decades of historical events that the former president was involved in.

"Lahat iyon, tungkol sa kung paano siya nag-attain ng power. Parang chess game sa kaniya ang politics, e. In fact, marami siyang mga sinabi na, 'You shouldn't take politics too seriously.' Parang nilalaro niya lang 'yung mga tao. Iyon 'yung pinakatema, kung paano niya na-manipulate 'yung sistema to keep himself in power,” he said during the Facebook Live of #KuwentuhanLang, a fundraiser organized by Cinema ’76 last April 8, 2020.

The film, he said, will take a shift from the series’ dramatic storytelling. "Wala na akong ma-imagine na tono kung 'di comedy, satire, para sa ganoong klaseng pagkukuwento,” Tarog said.

TBA Studios founder Eduardo Rocha said likewise in a 2019 interview with ABS-CBN News. “A lot of political satirism will be there,” Rocha said, noting that a significant part of the film will be set during the first general elections of the Commonwealth of the Philippines.

“We had the fire of Luna, we had the flaw of Goyo. This one, we’ll have the fire, but it’s also going to be a satire on who really ran the Philippines,” he added.

Benjamin Alves as Manuel L. Quezon in Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral. Photo from Ben Alves on Instagram.

Quezon was portrayed by TJ Trinidad in Heneral Luna, while a younger version of the character was played by Benjamin Alves in Goyo. Both actors are reprising their roles in the upcoming Quezon film.

Production of the film has been delayed after Tarog was contracted by Star Cinema to direct the latest adaptation of Mars Ravelo’s Darna. The director later backed out due to schedule-related issues.

Meanwhile, Rocha told ABS-CBN News that Quezon will ideally start production in 2021, in time for a possible release the next year.