MANILA — James Reid is the new Pedro Penduko.
Viva Films has cast the Kapamilya star as the popular komiks character for its upcoming film adaptation, it was confirmed Thursday.
The half-Australian actor emerged as the top choice to take on the re-imagined version of the superhero, first created by Francisco Coching, a national artist for the visual arts.
In the original komiks, Pedro Penduko is your ordinary Filipino who fights off evil forces with the help of a magical amulet.
In the re-imagined version, written by Regene Estolatan under Epik Studios, the next “chosen one” is a wimpy teen named Peter Harris, who was raised in the US by his adoptive father.
His official origin story is as follows: “Peter Harris feels like he doesn’t belong. A Filipino who lived all his life in the US where he grew up being bullied since grade school. Now 20 years old, he has had enough and wants to escape.
“Just then, his adoptive father passes away in a tragic accident involving something supernatural that nobody can explain.
“It will all unfold to him when he goes back to the Philippines to look for his mother whom he hasn’t seen since he was an infant. When he finds her, he learns that she has been a victim of a curse given by a ruler of Eastern Kasamaan.
“As he embarks on a journey to find a cure, he learns so much more than what he originally set out to discover. That he is no ordinary human, and that he may be the prophesied ‘chosen one’ who will save the entire town from the rising evil that threatens it.
“However, does a loser and a whiny wimp like him has what it takes to take on the role of the new Pedro Penduko?”
The modern twist aims to revitalize the dated imagery of the superhero for a new generation of Filipinos.
According to Reid, who was presented during the opening day of History Con 2017 at the World Trade Center in Pasay City, filming for the movie has already began and will continue until next year.
A release date for the movie has yet to be revealed.
Previous actors who have portrayed Pedro Penduko include Janno Gibbs and Matt Evans.