Pop novels new source for Tagalog movies

FIRST there was Bakit hindi ka crush ng crush mo? with Kim Chiu and Xian Lim. Then ABNKKBSNPLAko? followed with Jericho Rosales and Andi Eigenmann. Both were from popular Filipino books of the same titles. The first was based upon author Ramon Bautista’s and the second was on Bob Ong’s diary-like narrative of his growing up years.

Then came Diary ng Panget based on an online novel by a writer who calls herself HaveYouSeenThisGirl? and which starred Nadine Lustre, James Reid, and Andre Paras.

Talk Back and You’re Dead stars James Reid,
Nadine Lustre, and Joseph Marco with director
Andoy Ranay
The movie topped the hundred million-mark in box-office gross, urging Viva and MVP entertainment to invest in movies based upon popular media or books.

So, here comes Talk Back and You’re Dead based upon Alesana Marie’s novel of the same title.

This time it’s not just Viva Film underwriting the project. Star Cinema’s digital film affiliate, Skylight Films is also on board.

Published by Psicom Publishing Inc., Talk Back And You’re Dead gained popularity among teenagers not only in paperback but on Wattpad as well.

The novel’s film version assembles the Diary ng Panget team of James Reid and Nadine Lustre with ABS-CBN throwing in, as Skylight’s casting, the little known actor named Joseph Marco. James, Nadine, and Joseph play the roles of Top, Sam, and Red respectively—the novel’s central characters.

Andoy Ranay directs from a screenplay by Keiko Aquino. According to Skylight’s pitchmen, Talk Back And You’re Dead is a different kind of love story “as it seamlessly weaves teen romance with the high-pumping adrenaline of action and the pulsating component of danger.”

The movie is centered on the unexpected love triangle involving Top, Sam, and Red. The film kicks the “good girl meets bad boy” plot up a notch higher, but remains faithful to the germ of the novel that endeared it to readers.

Fans of the novel can look forward to watching their favorite characters come to life in this live-action version that cleverly instills the narrative’s witty lines and romantic scenes as well as its unforgettable and colorful characters such as The Crazy Trio and The Lucky 13.

It should be noted that Talk Back And You’re Dead is the first film project between James and Nadine, now known Jadine, after Dairy Ng Panget: The Movie made a killing at the box office.

The film is also a homecoming of sorts for James as a Kapamliya who gained nationwide popularity as the big winner of 2010’s Pinoy Big Brother Teen Clash. This film project also marks the debut film collaboration between Jadine with Jospeh Marco.

Talk Back And You’re Dead also stars Yassi Pressman as Audrey and it will be shown in cinemas nationwide on Aug. 20.

It seems that this won’t be the last movie based on a book or a popular story in the new media kids are crazy about, until the novelty wanes.

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