After the success of Trese, Filipino horror-fantasy comic, Ella Arcangel is next to have its animated adaptation.
It was only earlier this year when Filipino comic series, Trese, which was written by Budjette Tan and illustrated by Kajo Baldisimo, was adapted into a Netflix animated series. Because of this, many comic book lovers were on the lookout for the next Filipino comic title to have its animated version or film as well. Non-comic readers were also introduced to the wonderful world of Filipino comic books. Good thing the Philippines has a wealth of titles and stories. Just recently, Ella Arcangel, a comic book series by Julius Villanueva, was announced as having its own animated film.
Mervin Malonzo, author and artist of National Book Award-winning comic Tabi Po, also confirmed on Twitter that the film adaptation is in development.
Ella Arcangel follows the story of a young mambabarang (sorcerer) who battles both men and mythical monsters in a strange community called Barangay Masikap. The series covers local myths and Philippine folklore with themes of poverty, class warfare, abuse, and justice.
To learn more about the upcoming film adaptation of this another well loved story, here’s an insight from the author of the Ella Arcangel himself, Julius Villanueva.
MEGAStyle: What will the film adaptation be about? Will it start with the first volume?
Julius: “The film will focus on the second book, Awit ng Pangil at Kuko, which is about how the government’s failed drug war is affecting society’s most vulnerable, the poor and their children.“
MEGAStyle: When did the plans to make a film adaptation of Ella Arcangel start?
Julius: “We weren’t really planning on making a feature film. My friend, Mervin Malonzo, animated the first Ella story on his own as a sort of hobby. We got some offers from several production outfits who wanted to turn it into a live action series but nothing really happened. Avid Liongoren suggested we pitch it as a full length movie. We were still contemplating on making a series based on the first book which is an anthology of short stories featuring Ella. So we decided to pitch the second book, which is one stand alone story, and, with much help from Avid and producer Manny Angeles, we were able to get a grant from the FDCP.“
MEGAStyle: How did it feel that the film adaptation of the comic will finally happen?
Julius: “Still overwhelming. Things are happening so fast that we still can’t believe this is happening. I started making Ella back in 2016, I made 50 copies which I tried to sell at Komiket and it didn’t even sell out. So, I’m still in disbelief that we’re making a movie.“
Further details regarding its official release remain undisclosed, but we’re just as excited to have another Filipino literary work hit the big screen. Given the themes that Ella Arcangel tackles, it would be beneficial for young people to see the reality of what’s happening in our society through the lens of an animated series.