The Jakarta Post
Wiro Sableng, the tale of a pencak silat-trained and hatchet-wielding warrior, is set to hit the big screen in his namesake movie this Thursday, reintroducing the eccentric character adapted from novels written in the late 60s and made popular on the small screen during the 90s.
Under the auspices of Jakarta-based Lifelike Pictures and Los Angeles-based Fox International Production, Wiro Sableng will go back to his roots in the upcoming movie, which tells the genesis story of the quirky character based on the first four books of the series.
"We wanted to make this movie as if no one had seen Wiro Sableng," Sheila "Lala" Timothy, producer and co-writer of the film, told The Jakarta Post.
Before even writing the script for the movie, Lala said, the production team had recreated a new universe that drew from the 185 novels and hundreds of characters throughout the books.
The Wiro Sableng cast and producer gear up for the movie release as actors Fariz Alfarazi (front row, left to right), Vino G. Bastian, Yusuf Mahardika, Dian Sidik (back row, left to right) and Ruth Marini as well as producer Sheila Timothy, Sherina Munaf, Gita Arifin and Teuku Rifnu Wikana pose for a photo. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
The movie Wiro Sableng 212, which is slated to be the first part of a trilogy, is set in the 16th century and tells the origin story of the unconventional hero.
Lead actor Vino G. Bastian, who is the son of the original creator of the Wiro Sableng books Bastian Tito, is set to become the lead character his father has created.
"The challenge is, of course, that people will assume that […] I am the most perfect Wiro Sableng, even though that’s not necessarily the case," Vino said, referring to the expectations and pressure he faced when taking on the role.
Vino G. Bastian takes on the lead role as the eccentric warrior Wiro Sableng (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
With no background in pencak silat, the actor set out to train six months ahead of filming, making sure to get every move right, a process that he said was no easy feat.
"And now that I was taught things he had written about before, it turns out that it’s actually difficult. Really difficult," Vino said.
Sherina, a former child actress, takes on her first acting role since her debut in Petualangan Sherina (Sherina's Adventure) in 2000. After forging a successful career in music since then, Sherina returns to acting with her role of Anggini, the aspiring warrior assigned to assist Wiro Sableng in his mission.
Sherina reveals her reservations about going back to acting, something she explained as foreign ground after having left it for almost two decades. But producer Lala saw she was right for the role and slowly explained production details to coax her into trying.
Sherina Munaf plays aspiring warrior Anggini. (JP/Wienda Parwitasari)
It wasn't until she saw the concept art of the film and heard the music for the production that Sherina was convinced.
"So, finally there was nothing to be afraid of anymore. I had to be fearless and also not betray the character of Anggini," Sherina said.
The entire cast had physical training and pencak silat practice for their roles, where they would take on fighting sequences choreographed by martial artist and actor Yayan Ruhian, who also appears in the film – as the villain.
212 boasts a star-studded cast that also includes actors Teuku Rifnu Wikana, Fariz Alfarazi, Dian Sidik, Ruth Marini, Gita Arifin and Yusuf Mahardika. (kes)