KUALA LUMPUR, November 29 — Longtime fans of local iconic superhero Keluang Man rejoice, as pre-production for the live-action film adaptation has begun.
Keluang Man, created by the late Malaysian animator Datuk Kamn Ismail, was a hit with many growing up in the 90s through its comics and animated series.
After a month-long search and multiple phases of auditions, the role of Borhan aka Keluang Man was unanimously granted to actor Nas-T or his real name Nas Muammar Zar.
Actor Remy Ishak will be taking up the role of Keluang Man’s arch nemesis, Shamsir.
Other members of the cast revealed include Datuk Rosyam Nor as Ahmad and Anwaar Beg Moghal who will be taking up the role of Inspektor Sahab.
Keluang Man is produced by Astro Shaw, the studio behind the blockbuster franchise Polis Evo and will be helmed by director and writer Anwari Ashraf, known for his work with local hit series Projek High Council.
Big Ambitions for Keluang Man
‘Keluang Man’ director Anwari Ashraf (left) said the film will pay homage to its animated series created by the late Datuk Kamn Ismail. — Picture by Hari Anggara
Astro Shaw head and Keluang Man executive producer Raja Jastina Raja Arshad said that they have huge ambitions for Keluang Man and are happy to have Nas-T as the caped crusader as they needed an actor with discipline and are able to go above and beyond in delivering the role.
While Anwari revealed that the live action adaptation will be an origin story of Borhan, with a full-on franchise in mind.
“In terms of the film tone, I know there’s been a lot of requests for us to bring a darker and more mature tone to the Keluang Man film, a more serious approach to it.
“I’m not saying that ours is immature but I really appreciate and respect the original tone set by its creator the late Datuk Kamn.
“And I’m confident by our script that we will be able to capture back the soul of the Keluang Man animated series while also making it more contemporary through this film,” Anwari said.
Actor Nas-T is ‘Keluang Man’. — Picture by Hari Anggara
The live-action Keluang Man will be the first Malaysian superhero film adaptation from an existing IP with an already dedicated fanbase.
Nas-T, known for his roles in the 2008 film Kami The Movie and the 2022’s Air Force The Movie: Selagi Bernyawa, promised to give his very best for the role.
He said he is both thrilled and nervous in taking up the Keluang Man mantle but also proud and grateful to be given the chance to portray the character on the big screen.
“What I can say is that the script for Keluang Man is just brilliant. I’ve finished reading it and for me it is really solid.
“Of course I’m nervous and there’s a few fears going through my mind, of injuries on set or even fear of not being able to deliver but looking at the support the film is getting gives me that motivational boost.”
Keluang Man follows the story of a psychiatric patient Borhan who becomes the masked vigilante superhero.
According to Nas-T, the film will offer details on how Borhan ended up in the psychiatric hospital and fans can expect much familiar details from the animated show.
Actor Remy Ishak will be playing Shamsir, one of Keluang Man’s arch nemesis. — Picture by Hari Anggara
While Remy is more familiar for his good guy roles in many local films and drama series,playing an antagonist in Keluang Man will give him the opportunity to showcase his range as an actor.
The Sangkar actor also said that he will be bulking up physicality for the role of Shamsir and will be going with a whole different look for the movie.
“Our neighbouring countries already have their own superheroes and I think it’s time for us to have ours.
“I’ve worked with Anwari a few years back and seeing his vision for this film and the storytelling really showed the mature side of him as a director.
“I think this film will be ‘it’ and it’s being handled by the right people for the job, the storytelling and actions are on point,” he said.
Rosyam Nor who will be playing Ahmad in the film, revealed that his character will be going head to head with both Remy’s Shamsir and Nas-T’s Borhan at some point in the film and he is excited to be working alongside the younger actors.
“That will be challenging for me on set but I’m excited for the chance to work with our young local talents and I’m thankful to be chosen for this role.
“As I said before, I need to be given the opportunity to carry new roles, new films and new genres for me to showcase my abilities as an actor.
“And I’ve never done any film such as Keluang Man before and at my age now, the preparation scares me a bit as people will have high expectations for the film but I trust my director fully.”
Veteran actor Datuk Rosyam Nor is thrilled to be able to work alongside young local talents in the upcoming ‘Keluang Man’ film — Picture by Hari Anggara
He added that although they haven’t started filming yet, preparations are well on the way with actors meeting up with each other to get to know their roles even better and he expected that the fighting and choreography sessions to begin soon.
Although the script for the film is complete, principal photography for Keluang Man will begin in April next year.
The movie is expected to hit cinemas in 2025.