Filipino director Erik Matti has secured a competition slot at this year’s Venice International Film Festival with his upcoming film On The Job: Missing 8, the sequel to his 2013 neo-noir hit.
The full list of competing films was announced on Monday (July 26), Matti sharing the news on Instagram with the film’s monochromatic key art.
On The Job: Missing 8 will compete for the festival’s top prize against 20 other new films, among them new works by Pedro Almodóvar (Madres Paralelas), Paul Schrader (The Card Counter), and the directorial debut of actress Maggie Gyllenhaal (The Lost Daughter). On The Job: Missing 8 is the only Asian production in competition.
The sequel is Matti’s follow-up to the 2013 film On The Job, which premiered to international acclaim. Gerald Anderson and Joel Torre starred as prisoners who become hitmen-for-hire to carry out political executions, while evading law enforcement officials who are hot on their tail.
The upcoming film, however, will follow new characters played by John Arcilla and Dennis Trillo. It is also substantially longer than the original film, running at 208 mins. The 2013 film’s runtime is a comparatively brisk two hours.
Earlier today (July 28), HBO Asia announced that the original 2013 film and its sequel will be edited into a six-part series of hour-long episodes. A Philippines HBO Asia Original, the series On The Go will premiere on streaming service HBO GO in September, the same month as the Venice festival.
The 2013 film will make up the first two episodes, which HBO states have since been remastered and will include “never-before-seen and exclusive content”.
Watch the official HBO trailer below.
In a February interview with NME, Matti explained the new story direction that the sequel will explore. “It’s still built around prisoners being brought out of prison to kill, but the dynamics have changed because we had to introduce new characters involved in journalism along with the politicians, the cops, the prisoners,” he said.
“So it became a four-way story with characters of their own. It became a totally different movie.” A third movie is also being planned, which is likely to conclude the franchise.
Earlier this year, Matti released his latest film A Girl And A Guy in June on streaming platform Upstream. In a three-star review, NME’s Khyne Palumar wrote that A Girl And A Guy is a raunchy drama that “doesn’t stack up to his finest work”.