The queen is returning to the big screen! And with all that we know so far about her upcoming projects, it looks like the dawning of a brand new era in Kathryn Bernardo’s career and we are here for it.
After having just celebrated her 27th birthday, Kathryn, together with Star Cinema and Black Sheep, announced her upcoming projects in a special livecast on YouTube and Facebook, where this generation’s box-office superstar revealed three upcoming films: the dark comedy A Very Good Girl, to be directed by Petersen Vargas, where she stars opposite Golden Globe Nominee Dolly De Leon; After Forever, a romantic movie with her partner Daniel Padilla directed by mentor Cathy Garcia Molina; and Elena 1944, an action-drama set during the Japanese occupation that also happens to be Olivia Lamasan’s comeback after seven years of taking a break from filmmaking.
The line-up really said RANGE. A Very Good Girl and Elena in particular feel fresh and exciting, not just for Kathryn but also for Star Cinema. But while we want to be surprised to see where Kathryn Bernardo will take us with these upcoming performances, we can’t help but have a wish list. So here are 8 things we’d like to see in Kathryn Bernardo’s upcoming films!
A not-so-very good girl
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Kathryn is known for the many nice, polite, righteous girls she’s played, so one can’t help but suspect that the title of A Very Good Girl alludes to her public persona as much as it’s relevant to the plot. Kathryn said in the presscon that she specifically asked Star Cinema for concepts she’s never done before, and we would truly love for her to play an antihero, someone who’s more morally gray but impossible to not root for.
Give us Hathaway in Ocean’s 8 or Garner in Inventing Anna! If you saw her in Magkaribal way back in 2010 or the last arc of La Luna Sangre, you would know she has the grit and sass to pull this off.
“A lot of class and sass”
Director Petersen Vargas described the project. And because A Very Good Girl is about a millennial and an older woman, we’re seeing a tone similar to The Devil Wears Prada or Cruella. If that’s the case, then by all means bring on the fashion and the wit, please! Kathryn is a proud kikay and fashionista in real life and we’d love to see her in chic costumes for once. And remember when she told a hater to “kiss her effin’ legs”? More of that, thank you!
More girl power
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I could almost hear the collective sigh of relief from Kathryn stans when no male actor was named to co-lead with her in A Very Good Girl and Elena 1944. And honestly? Same. Hello, Love, Goodbye was amazing and we always love romantic films, but Kathryn, like any woman, is a complete person without a leading man. She clearly has the talent and star power to carry a film all by herself, too.
But it looks like she wouldn’t have to. Because while we can’t wait for her to headline these films, we also cannot wait for the powerhouse that is Dolly De Leon and – I’d assume – the ensemble of female actors she’ll get to work with in Elena.
Speaking of Dolly De Leon…
THIS JUST IN: Kathryn Bernardo to star in the movie “A Very Good Girl” under Star Cinema, together with the award-winning actress Dolly De Leon; under the direction of Petersen Vargas, written by Dom Mongcol, Carmi Raymundo as Creative Manager and Daniel Saniana as Creative… pic.twitter.com/tlaApc40Wn
— Kapamilya Online World (@kowalerts) March 27, 2023
There couldn’t have been a better actress to play opposite her because of their very different career trajectories: (1) a theater veteran who didn’t receive her flowers from Philippine Cinema up until recently, and (2) someone who was embraced by the public at such an early age but hadn’t been given enough room to explore the limits of her craft. Their different backgrounds paired with their immense talent make A Very Good Girl not just an interesting arena for a showdown, but a potential place for alchemy.
Direk Cathy, we want pain!
KathNiel is now in their late 20s and they’ve been together long enough as a couple to handle really grounded and nuanced stuff that real-life couples go through. Besides, we recently just saw them be light and lovey-dovey on TV. So yeah, maybe cut down on the sugar and bring on some Revolutionary Road and Blue Valentine brand of conflict and confrontations. Because if there’s any couple in their generation that can pull off scenes of such weight, it’s KathNiel.
Also, at this point, stans should be so secure with KathNiel in real life to not mind them not ending up together in a movie. Just saying.
A production worthy of a queen
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It’s not enough that they call Kathryn Bernardo queen. We expect a production fit for one. Thankfully, Petersen Vargas always delivers with the visuals. But we’re anxious to see how Black Sheep will be able to pull off a period piece like Elena, especially because we don’t usually get such from them. We hope that the production pulls all the stops to create effective and believable set pieces and costumes for it. Get co-financiers if they have to! Please!
Historical accuracy, please!
Lila Pilipina Anniversary Statement: Comfort Women Organization Marks 25 Years of Campaign for Justice (25 June 2019) Twenty five years ago today, Filipina victims of Japanese wartime sexual slavery who came forward to reveal their experiences as “comfort women”… pic.twitter.com/AxoJ6L1bsI
— Lila Pilipina (@Lila_Pilipina) June 25, 2019
This will, without a doubt, be Elena’s deal-breaker. There have been many films that are visually stunning with flawless production design that failed to honor the experiences of those who lived through the real stories they’re based upon (ahem, Memoirs of a Geisha). Comfort women have yet to receive the justice they deserve to this day. The last thing we want is a haphazard depiction of their struggles in the guise of creative liberty.
Writer Dom Mancol hinted that A Very Good Girl will be an eat-the-rich concept that asserts the youth’s power to outwit the rigged system. Meanwhile, Elena 1944 could not have been more timely, considering the recent United Nations ruling on how the Philippine government violated the rights of comfort women by failing to provide them aid, support, recognition, and reparation.
Nora and Vilma were products of the loveteam system as well, but it is through films that truly reflected the times (like Bona and Sister Stella L) that they cemented their place in the pantheon of greats — not just as stars but as artistas ng bayan. In the livecast, Kathryn expressed that she wants to lend herself to more stories that resonate with her womanhood.
Now that she has nothing more to prove in terms of pulling a box office hit, and after becoming more vocal about her politics – first during the ABS-CBN Shutdown and then during the 2022 national elections – Kathryn Bernardo taking on these roles does not feel like just a career move or a venture to diversify her portfolio, but an effort to join the conversation on what it means to be a Filipino woman now.
We’d buy tickets now if we could, tbh.