Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 6 December 2019

Nadine Lustre drops out of 'Miracle in Cell No 9' over medical concerns

Bela Padilla will replace Lustre in remake of Korean award-winning film

Nadine Lustre. Courtesy ABS-CBN
Nadine Lustre. Courtesy ABS-CBN

Nadine Lustre has pulled out of the forthcoming remake of the Korean hit Miracle in Cell No 9 for medical reasons. She will be replaced by the Filipino-British actress and model Bela Padilla, an official from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) confirmed over the weekend.

MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer said in a statement that Lustre’s agents, Viva Artists Agency, had cited “persistent medical concerns resulting in her inability to perform her duties as an actress” for the decision.

He also confirmed that the film would still be eligible to compete at this December’s festival, as changes to the cast are allowed up until the July 30 submissions deadline.

No further details were given about the nature of Lustre’s health concerns, although she has frequently talked of her ongoing battle with depression, and is a passionate advocate for mental health awareness. She was also diagnosed with an inverted cervical chord in 2018, which delayed the shooting of Never Not Love You.

Miracle in Cell No 7 is a multi-award-winning Korean drama/comedy film that was originally released in 2013. It follows the story of Yong-gu, a mentally challenged single father who was wrongly imprisoned for the murder of a young girl. The remake was named as one of the first four official entries for the annual Manila movie festival, which takes place every December. The identity of the film's director has not yet been confirmed.

Aside from acting, Padilla also has screenwriting credits to her name. She penned the romcom starring Piolo Pascual and Toni Gonazaga, Last Night.

She will be paired in the new film with Aga Muhlach, who began his career as a child actor in the '70s. Muhlach grew as a household name in the industry with films such as Bagets (1984) and Sana Maulit Muli (1995). His latest film was “First Love” in 2018, with Bea Alonzo.

Miracle in Cell No 9 was previously remade into a Kannada movie, Pushpaka Vimana, directed by S Ravindranath in 2017. Kross Pictures also claimed in 2017 that they are making a Hindi version of the film directed by Umesh Shukla, although that film has not been released to date.

Updated: July 29, 2019 01:48 PM