Eric Matti sets prequel to political thriller ‘On the Job’

Eric Matti, one of the Philippines’ most acclaimed filmmakers, is set to direct a prequel to “On The Job: The Missing 8,” his critically acclaimed political crime thriller series.

Reimagined by Mattei and screenwriter Michiko Yamamoto, the untitled picture will mark the third film in the “On The Job” trilogy that kicked off at Cannes directors’ Fortnight in 2013, and has traveled around the world.

“On The Job” was inspired by a real-life scandal in which prison inmates were temporarily released to work as contract killers on behalf of politicians and high-ranking military officials.

The previous version, which is being produced by Matti and Ronald Monteverde under the banner of Manila-based Reality MM Studios, is set against the turbulent backdrop of the island of Mindanao where Pedring Eusebio, the corrupt mayor of a fictional city called La Paz, rises to power. Initiated into the rebel paramilitary group the New People’s Army, Eusébio became the most influential politician and feared man in La Paz.

Filipino actor Jericho Rosales has been cast as Pedring Eusebio, and Ryan Agoncillo as Rene Pacheco, a high-ranking military official working his way into politics. More casts will be announced at a later stage.

Principal photography is scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2023 in the Philippines, with regular cinematographer Matti Dino Piaccino. According to the production, the movie will have a soundtrack.

“I love Hollywood crime films of the 1970s, or French cop corruption films of the Jean-Pierre Melville type that are no longer being made, although those films are still enjoyed by audiences,” Mattei said.

Matti continued, “The introduction to ‘On The Job’ and ‘On The Job: The Dead 8’ provides another opportunity to bring a new and engaging Filipino crime story to the world.”

The second film in the trilogy, “On The Job: The Missing 8,” represents the Philippines in the Oscar race. The film was shown in Venice and John Arcilla won the Volpi Cup in the Horizons section.

A prominent figure in the Manila film industry, Matti has directed nearly 20 films in the Philippines, spanning family dramas like “Mano Po 2: My Home,” to the supernatural comedy “Gagamboy,” to the supernatural adventure film “Tiktik: The Aswang.” Chronicles” and several commercially successful horror films such as “Seklusyon” and “Kuwaresama”.

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