Danny Trejo Shoots In The Philippines For 1521

Multi-award winning actor Danny Trejo is cast as Ferdinand Magellan in a movie depicting the pivotal year 1521 for the Philippines. Indelibly logged in Philippine history as the year of the country’s rediscovery, 1521 marks the year Magellan landed on yet to be named Philippine shores. The movie will depict the momentous Battle of Mactan, where pre-colonial Filipinos were able to defend their land.

Danny Trejo is the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan, according to an exclusive from Variety. Magellan lands on the archipelago in his quest to find the Spice Islands and circumnavigate the world in the name of Spain. Trejo made his mark in international movies through his works: Machete, From Dusk Till Dawn, Machete Kills and Heat.

Danny Trejo Shoots In The Philippines For 1521

Danny Trejo 1521

Image: Xylophone Films

The movie is in pre-production and is on schedule to begin its shoot in Palawan, Philippines. Michael Copon will co-produce and direct the movie focusing on the epic battle on Mactan shores. Also, Copon is Mactan’s Warrior Chief named Datu Lapulapu. In addition, the story features the forbidden love story between Hector David Jr.’s Enrique, Magellan’s interpreter and Bea Alonzo’s Diwata, a Mactan princess. Joining them is Maricel Laxa who portrays Diwata’s sister Ahmani.

1521 will feature the battle that led to the demise of Ferdinand Magellan in the hands of Datu Lapu Lapu. Historically, the Spaniards failed to colonize the islands that fateful year. Thus, Philippine history regards Lapu Lapu as the first Philippine hero. Despite the odds, his might and warriors defeated the Spanish explorers. Afterwards, what remained of Magellan’s men retreated to the seas and back to Spain.

Francis B. Lara Ho of Inspire Studios will executive produce the movie. Also, Copon has writing credits to Lara Ho’s story that Mary Krell-Oishi developed for the screen. Meanwhile, Ramon Bravante has credits as line producer. Interestingly, the movie will be Copon’s 2nd directorial project. The first was 2016 Worth the Price, in which he also portrayed the lead.

Notably, 1521 is one of three projects in pre-production for Inspire Studios. One of them will also be a historical movie entitled Angel Warrior. That movie happens during WWII, which will also star Alonzo for the lead role.

Danny Trejo Shoots In The Philippines For 1521

Danny Trejo 1521

Image: Universal

Looking at online reactions to this movie in pre-productions, there may be some aspects that film makers change for ‘cinema’. First, the depiction of age. According to history, Magellan was around his early 40s when he arrived on the island shores. Conversely, Datu Lapu Lapu was already in his 60s. Second, the features of the cast. Some are questioning the believability of nationality depiction of Danny Trejo as a Portuguese conquistador. At the same time, the Mactan Princess Diwata actress Bea Alonzo has the features that are not typical for an island princess at the time.

Nevertheless, most responses to the news, especially from the Filipino netizens, are hopeful that the production can give justice to the historical battle.

“he was unwilling to come and do reverence to one whom he had been commanding for so long a time” – Lapulapu saying his reported reply when Magellan demanded his surrender and swear fealty to Rajah Humabon who at the time allied with the explorer.


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