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Robin Padilla’s withdrawal from Maria Ozawa movie spurs financier to pull out

Shortly after news broke out on Tuesday that Robin Padilla has pulled out the action horror film “Nilalang”, his Metro Manila Film Festival entry with retired Japanese porn star Maria Ozawa, a private investment group that claims to be the “main funding partner” of the company that’s producing it announced its withdrawal from the project.

In a statement furnished to InterAksyon, Joyce Ramirez, spokesperson and lead publicist for the MFT Group, said that a letter had been furnished to Haunted Tower Pictures confirming that “after much deliberation,” MFT will no longer finance the production of ‘Nilalang’.”

“Given the proposed working budget for the film, the non- participation of Mr. Padilla means that MFT (being the main funding partner of Haunted Tower Pictures) no longer believes that the project has a bankable actor as its lead and the absence of [an] immediate alternative means that the production will be delayed to an extent that ‘Nilalang’ will not be released in  time for the 2015 Metro Manila Film Festival,” Ramirez said in behalf of the MFT Group in the statement.

Without a financier and a lead actor, the production of “Nilalang” is now in serious jeopardy. If the project is eventually aborted or is not completed in time, its slot in the MMFF will be awarded to one of two films earlier announced as reserve entries.

They are Erik Matti’s action drama “Conman” starring John Lloyd Cruz, which is already in the can, and “Lakambini” directed by Jeffrey Jeturian and Ellen Ongkeko-Marfil and topbilled by Lovi Poe, which has already started principal photography.

Meanwhile, Robin’s manager, Betchay Vidanes of Vidanes Celebrity Marketing, also issued a statement confirming the actor’s withdrawal from the project, which Robin published late Tuesday on his Instagram feed along with a teaser poster with images of Robin and Maria. (E. Sallan, Interaksyon)