On The Job was a phenomenal film. Its debut in 2013 was timely. In a country rife with political issues where big-budget formulaic movies fill our theaters, this gritty crime thriller challenged the norm in terms of storytelling. I remember it clearly: after the last scene played out and the credits had rolled, everyone in the cinema stood up and gave Reality Entertainment's movie a round of applause.
Three years later, the same film would live on in a six-part mini-series that will stream exclusively on HOOQ as the video-on-demand service's first original piece of content. It's important to note that this would also be the first ever local original show produced for a streaming service.
from the Philippines, OTJ: The Series will also be available to HOOQ subscribers in Thailand, India and Indonesia.
Recently, Director Erik Matti revealed the full cast and a couple of plot details in a press conference held last Tuesday.
While the original film's storyline portrayed corruption in the government, the upcoming series will center on the complications of media and how fickle it can be when subject to bribery and bias.
The story kicks off in the provincial town of La Paz where eight journalists are massacred and buried without a trace right before Christmas Eve. This premise sets the show in motion as four distinct individuals cross paths:
Sisoy, a corrupt media veteran in his fifties, is played by theater actor Teroy Guzman.
His character is under the payroll of Pedring, the patriarch of the town's political dynasty, who will be played by Nonoy Froilan.
As news of the massacre gets big, Pam (a young and idealistic journalist from a big news network portrayed by Bela Padilla), steps in to pick up on the investigation.
Neil Ryan Sese plays a role similar to that of Joel Torre and Gerald Anderson in the 2013 film as a hired hitman named Roman, who is regularly brought out of prison to kill.
The award-winning director also mentioned that there will be three subplots within the series, each of which will focus on the happenings in the town of La Paz, the big media network, and within the prison (where the people who know what truly happened reside).
Aside from the four main characters, the show features a good number of supporting roles within this star-studded ensemble:
Leo Martinez, who gave an excellent performance as the corrupt General Pacheco in the film On The Job, will reprise his role in the series. His appearance will most likely link the story to the events in the film.
Dominic Ochoa is a governor who harbors a big secret and comes from a family of ruling politicians in La Paz.
Smokey Manaloto, who Erik Matti mentioned was in his checklist of people he would like to work with, will go out of his comedic comfort zone and play the role of a policeman in the series.
Arjo Atayde, an actor who Matti tapped for subtlety in acting,Â plays an ex-journalist turned congressman.
Jake Macapagal is Nato, the stylish middleman for the hired prisoners and the paying clients, just like Vivian Velez's Thelma in the film.
Ria Atayde and Patintero: Ang Alamat ni Meng Patalo's Nafa-Hilario Cruz play the daughters of Sisoy.
Renz Fernandez and Levi Ignacio are also part of the cast, but their roles as of now are yet to be known.
but definitely not the least is Christopher
de Leon, whose role in OTJ: The Series
is likewise yet to be revealed by the director.
Erik Matti seems to have found his perfect format for his style of storytelling. "It's about time that we expand the themes that we started in the original On The Job movie," states the director. "Creating a mini-series exclusively for a video-on-demand service like HOOQ will allow us to explore unique stories that will be sure to pull in viewers who will want to get more immersed in this compelling world we're building."
The pilot episode will air this December on www.hooq.tv.