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Three fun facts about Joko Anwar's 'Gundala'

Ni Nyoman Wira
Ni Nyoman Wira

The Jakarta Post

Jakarta  /  Wed, July 24, 2019  /  01:09 pm
Three fun facts about Joko Anwar's 'Gundala'

Poster of Joko Anwar's 'Gundala'. (Gundala/File)

Adapted from the comic book series by Harya “Hasmi” Suryaminata, Gundala is among this year’s sought-after Indonesian films. Scheduled to premiere on Aug. 29, here are some facts about the movie that you should know.

Bumilangit Cinematic Universe to be home of superheroes

Gundala will be a gateway to other superhero films in the cinematic universe of entertainment company Bumilangit. The company has managed more than 1,100 comic characters that have been published over the last 60 years. The characters are grouped into four eras: Legenda (legend), Jawara (local warrior), Patriot (patriot) and Revolusi (revolutionist).

Jawara era, for instance, consists of heroes during pre-independence period, one of whom is Si Buta dari Gua Hantu (warrior from the ghost cave), while the  Patriot era comprises heroes in the present time, among them Gundala, Sri Asih and Godam.

Read also: 'Gundala' official trailer finally released

Both Bumilangit and film production company Screenplay Films plan to release other movies within five years, but only those of the Jawara and Patriot eras, and each will be initiated by Si Buta dari Gua Hantu (The Blind Warrior from The Ghost Cave) and Gundala, respectively.

Bismarka Kurniawan, producer of Gundala from Bumilangit, explains why Gundala is the first movie from the cinematic universe to be released. “It’s because we see Gundala as an individual who will unite other characters,” Bismarka said during press conference on Saturday in Central Jakarta. “The role of Gundala can be seen in other films as well.”

Joko Anwar, Gundala’s director and scriptwriter, said he would act as creative producer in all of the forthcoming films, although it’s as yet unknown whether he will be the director. “We’ve already prepared [the storyline], which took around two months,” Joko said.


Gundala. Tayang di bioskop 29 Agustus 2019. Trailer ada di bio saya ya, teman-teman.

A post shared by Joko Anwar (@jokoanwar) on

Filming done in multiple locations

It took almost two years for Joko and his crew to produce Gundala. Joko said preparations took  five to six months, while post-production for computer graphic imagery, sound design and music took seven to eight months.

The shooting locations, he continued, were the challenges during the process. “Our movies are usually shot in a maximum of 15 to 20 locations, but Gundala was filmed in 70 locations because Indonesia doesn’t have studio facilities,” said Joko, adding that the scenes had to be shot in real locations instead of in studios like in Hollywood.

Read also: Joko Anwar, cast members (try not to) spill the beans on ‘Gundala’

Additionally, Abimana Aryasatya, the actor who plays Gundala, said one scene alone could have been shot in three different locations. “We had this market [scene] taking place in Tangerang [Banten], Bogor [West Java] and near Jakarta Kota station,” Abimana said.

Gundala Putra Petir [Gundala, son of Thunder] movie launched in 1980s

Joko Anwar’s Gundala is not the first movie about the superhero. In the 1980s, Lilik Sudjio helmed Gundala Putra Petir (Gundala, son of Thunder) with Teddy Purba, Ami Prijono and WD Mochtar among the cast members.

However, Joko decided not to add “the son of Thunder” tagline to his film and he has his reason for that. “The title only uses Gundala as the film [narrates] the origin of Gundala in becoming the son of thunder,” said Joko, adding that the tagline will still be related to the story. “Our references for Gundala were based on comic books and Hasmi’s notes. Both the film and comic books will complement each other.” (mut)

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