Posted on Apr 25, 2019

CNN Indonesia | Wednesday, January 23rd 2019

JAKARTA – Bumilangit officially announced its partnership with renowned Indonesian production house, Screenplay Films, to adapt superhero comics from its library into the big screen. Production Manager of Bumilangit Studios, Imansyah Lubis, said that they had prepared several movie projects for Bumilangit Cinematic Universe for the next five years.

“We will interpret stories from different mediums and decades to match the current preference of the audience, and we already have a priority scale for the next featured character for our movies,” said Imansyah at a press conference on January 23.

Imansyah lubis, Production Manager Bumilangit Studios

The first film that is currently being worked on is Gundala, which will be the gateway to the Bumilangit Cinematic Universe. At Indonesia Comic Con last October, the first footage of Gundala has received positive responses from audiences. Abimana Aryasatya will be the lead actor in the movie as Sancaka. The movie was directed and written by Indonesian highly acclaimed director, Joko Anwar.

“The script written by Joko was approved by Screenplay and Bumilangit. Screenplay examined the script from the market side, while Bumilangit examined how consistent the script was with the original story in Gundala comics. We were not heavily involved in the writing process, but we controlled and supervised the process,” said Imansyah. He also explained that Gundala has currently entered the post-production stage and is scheduled to air in mid-2019.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Gundala comic series by Harya Suraminata (Hasmi), titled Gundala The Lightning Son. In the comic, Gundala was originally a genius engineer named Sancaka. He was obsessed to invent an anti-lightning serum. In a bizarre accident, Sancaka was struck by a lightning, only to find out that he had been adopted by Kronz, The Lightning King. Kronz gave Sancaka a magic necklace that could transform him into a superhuman being, Gundala. Since then, he was known as Gundala The Lightning Son.

In 1996, Gundala appeared with three other superheroes in a comic titled Patriot. The three superheroes are Maza (Hasmi’s work), Aquanus (by Widodo Noor Slamet) and Godam (by Widodo Noor Slamet).

The second movie that is currently being worked on is The Blind of the Phantom Cave. Unlike Gundala who is classified as a superhero, The Blind of the Phantom Cave is a warrior. A warrior here means a champion in silat (Indonesian martial arts) that is closely related to Indonesian history.

The movie will be directed and written by Timo Tjahjanto. Imansyah explained that the script is near on completion and will be on theater in 2020.

The Blind of the Phantom Cave, whose real name is Barda, is the main character in the silat comic series created by Ganesh TH in the 1960s. The comic was first published in 1967 and reprinted in 2005 by Bumilangit. Due to its popularity, this comic was adapted into a film in the late 1970s with the same title. Adaptation continues to six other film titles, namely Borobudur (1972), Lost Heaven (1977), Duel in Bromo Crater (1977), Hell in Earth Core (1985), Valley of Death (1990), and The Awakening of The Seraph Eyes (1988).

The Blind of the Phantom Cave is set in the archipelago in the Dutch East Indies colonial era. He has exceptional martial arts skills by using swords or sticks, and very keen in distinguishing sounds. In order to avenge the death of his father and fiancee, Barda was forced to blind his eyes to defeat The Seraph Eyes, a blind criminal who is a powerful and an immune villain. Since then, Barda has been known as a mighty and legendary swordsman nicknamed The Blind of the Phantom Cave.

Bumilangit Comics

Not only in films, Bumilangit Universe can also be enjoyed in its comic books. General Manager of Bumilangit Comic, Is Yuniarto, explained that his team has combined the story of the superheroes and warriors which were originally told in a separate universe.

“We have prepared a story, a saga, which lasted from 20.000 BC and the colonial times, until the modern times and the revolutionary period,” said Is.

Is explained that Bumilangit characters like Sri Asih and Mandala lived in the BC era, and The Blind of the Phantom Cave lived in the colonial era. While Gundala, Aquanus, Maza, and Godam lived in the modern times (1900-2000), Virgo, along with Tira, lived during the revolutionary period (2000-2200).

Some classic comic characters like Sri Asih, Mandala, Gundala, The Blind of the Phantom Cave, and Aquanus, will be re-released with new stories and picture styles.

“For Gundala character, we will release a comic that is adjacent to the upcoming movie version, and also an evergreen Gundala comic, which will feature classic characters and story,” said Is. (adp/end)