'Encantadia' director Mark Reyes addresses expectations for show
MANILA, Philippines (2nd UPDATE) – Encantadia director Mark Reyes went on record to address those who have expressed unreasonably high hopes for the "requel" (or retelling) of Encantadia – including those who have persistently used the HBO fantasy series, Game of Thrones, as a benchmark.
He also speaks about what can be anticipated from the new show – coming from the original 2005 series. (WATCH: 'Encantadia' 2016 full trailer released, airing date announced)
At the grand press conference of Encantadia on Wednesday, July 13, Direk Mark told Rappler that as an consumer of fantasy texts himself – films, video games, and shows, there are cues that they may take within the genre, but he explained that there are crucial differences that sets the series apart. (IN PHOTOS: Meet the cast of 'Encantadia' 2016)
He also explained key thematic differences, telling Rappler: "Encantadia is primarily a family show that deals with family problems – dysfunctional sisterhood and a mother. And it deals about values that’s close to the Filipinos like you should go for peace, you should go for stability of your government or your kingdom."
"Game of Thrones is like incest, it’s like killing – it’s so different. Maybe visually, we’re getting compared," he added. "[But] you could also compare Game of Thrones with Lord of the Rings."
"Take us out in the context, because it's the genre. Merlin is in the same genre, so definitely there will be a point of comparison for everything that is done [as] fantasy."
In a text message relayed to Rappler, he also said that the sensitive issues and violent graphics in the HBO show makes it a "totally different universe" from that of Encantadia's, reiterating that the show is "for mainly Pinoy family viewing."
He also commented on people who have hoped that the show would be like Game of Thrones in terms of visuals.
"One is that we’re all fans of Game of Thrones, but I don’t know if you caught my announcement in my Facebook na 'Guys, don’t compare sa Game of Thrones, the budget is not the same, the story is not the same."
He noted in a Facebook post: "[Encantadia] will never have the omnipotent budget of GoT. But we go through the same hard production process with less resources and much more limited time."
He said, however, that the opening titles designed for the new series may be considered a nice "homage" to Game of Thrones. Similar to the HBO show, it sweeps across a world map of Encantadia.
"I was very particular in telling the group, 'Don't go overboard.' They will say 'Ay, parang Game of Thrones!"" Mark said, adding that the "homage" was intentional.
He said, however, that the similarities end with these abovementioned elements: "Once you watch Encantadia, you won’t see anything Game of Thrones. The battles could be compared to the battle scene of Braveheart or any of these other bigger shows."
Encantadia shares one figure with Game of Thrones, though: Conan Stevens, who appeared as Ser Gregor Clegane/The Mountain in season 1, will play a yet-to-be-specified part on the show.
At one point during the press conference, Reyes almost became emotional after hearing the feedback from the executives and the media present who were also able to get a glimpse of the show – an epic 11 years in the making.
As he also directed the 2005 Encantadia series, Mark said, "Now at this point, I’m kind of relieved and the nervous is out because you guys saw the pilot and the reaction is overwhelming so now it’s game time."
"It’s like more of bring it on, prove ourselves – how do we upstage the original one?"
Reyes also shared that the presence of two familiar faces – Dingdong Dantes and Sunshine Dizon, who were in the original series – helped him in making the show very special.
Dingdong now plays Raquim, but he also took on the role of Ybarro/Ybrahim (now played by Ruru Madrid). The original Pirena (now played by Glaiza de Castro), Sunshine, makes an appearance as Adhara.
"If you’re entering a new school, and you’re like looking for familiar faces to be my anchor – thank God, Dingdong’s there," he said.
"I mean Dingdong was my Ybarro, and he’s now Raquim. So I felt so comfortable opening the show [on the] first day, shooting with him. If not I would most likely be more awkward. We wouldn't know where to start," he said.
Aside from the stunning visual effects, changes were also made to the flags and sigils of the 4 kingdoms.
Mark also mentioned that there is more screen time for dragons because of up-to-date technology and techniques – compared to what was available during the original run.
When asked if there will be a special appearance by the Mulawins once again following the inclusion of Avila in the new Encantadia map, Reyes simply grinned, saying: "Look at my smile."
With Encantadia ready to premiere on July 18, Reyes said that he will just sit back and continue to work on the show, notwithstanding its share of detractors.
"I would just sit back and just do my job. And if they like it, they like it. If they don’t, they don’t," he said. – Rappler.com
(Editor's note: We have edited the headline and introduction to better reflect the context and nuances of Mark Reyes' statements)