An upcoming film set in the Philippines’ pre-colonial period has cast Danny Trejo as the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.
The film, “1521,” is set to depict the events leading up to the momentous “Battle of Mactan,” where the famous navigator was killed by the natives of the island Mactan. Magellan, who planned and led the first expedition to circumnavigate the world, failed to complete his voyage after he died in battle.
Michael Copon, known for his roles as Lucas Kendall in “Power Rangers: Time Force” and Felix Taggaro in “One Tree Hill,” is set to direct the film based on the script by Mary Krell-Oishi.
Copon will also star as Datu Lapu-Lapu, the legendary island ruler who led the resistance against Magellan and his party’s attempt to colonize the Philippine archipelago.
Produced by Filipino American filmmaker Francis B. Lara Hoi, the film is set to begin principal photography this month in the Philippines’ archipelagic province of Palawan.
Based on the film’s plot posted on IMDB, “1521” will incorporate a romantic storyline between a native Mactan princess and a Spanish soldier: “Philippines, pre-Spanish era, a young native princess with goddess-like beauty falls in love with a dashingly handsome Spanish soldier. Pulled apart by their loyalties to their own people and against all odds they fight for their clandestine romance.”
Filipino actress Bea Alonzo (“Eerie,” “Unbreakable”) has been cast to play the native princess Diwata, while Hector David Jr. (“Power Rangers,” “East Los High”) will take on the role of Enrique, a soldier and translator for Magellan.
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Alonso is a well-known celebrity in the Philippines who was recognized in 2019 as a “Talent to Watch” by Variety and the International Film Festival & Awards Macao.
According to Copon, the romance between Diwata and Enrique will be the “heart and soul” of the film.
“We didn’t want to make a movie that is just about the battle and the war,” he was quoted as saying.
The film is scheduled for a June 12, 2023, release to coincide with Philippine Independence Day.
Featured Image via Rotten Tomatoes Trailers