Erik Matti Gearing Up Hitman Thriller OJT (ON THE JOB TRAINING)
It was all the way back in January of 2010 when Twitch first shared a lengthy promo for Filipino hitman thriller OJT. Director Erik Matti was in the early stages back then, putting together a project loosely based on actual events and as part of that process recruited a pair of actors and a pair of Red cameras for a day to shoot a nearly nine minute proof of concept.
And it was simply astounding. It certainly helps that one of the actors was the great Joel Torre - recently seen in John Sayles' Amigo - but it helped even more that Matti seemed to be taking elements of Johnnie To and Fabien Bielinsky and working them into something fresh and exciting. Yeah, Matti's been good before but this was a whole new level.
The story was triggered by an actual political scandal in which word got out that politicians were colluding with mobsters and corrupt prison officials to release prisoners on day passes and using them as hitmen - the specific story in the Philippines involved a politician using a prison hitman to take out a political rival in the lead up to an election, similar stories have since emerged from Mexico as well - with Matti aiming to turn that material into a character driven, noir inflected action picture.
Well, months have passed and the film is coming closer to fruition. Finance is now in place and preparations being made. The holdup, ironically, is that Matti may have landed too big a cast. Highly in demand stars Piolo Pascual and Dingdong Dantes topline the cast with Torre and Richard Gomez and all have incredibly busy schedules that must be accounted for. Says Matti in a recent interview on Lagarista.com:
Should all go well, however, this could be rolling by the end of the year or in early 2012. Check out the original promo below for a taste of what's coming.We haven't had a good action film for years. With this cast and their schedules, it's a nightmare getting them together. But we're hoping to make this an event movie.
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