Superhero movies have been dominating cinema for well over a decade, so we’re not surprised to see Indonesia getting in on the action with Gundala, their new comic book adaptation about a hero who can shoot bolts of lightning from his hands. To make things even more interesting, the film was written and directed by acclaimed horror veteran Joko Anwar, whose previous films include Dead Time, The Forbidden Door, Ritual, and Satan’s Slaves (review).
In the original comic book created by the late Harya Suraminata Hasmi, Gundala, whose real name was Sancaka, was a scientist cursed with super speed and the ability to manipulate electricity after his attempts to create an anti-lightning serum leads him to unfortunately be struck by lightning. Becoming a superhero known as Gundala, the Son of Lightning, the character became a staple of the Indonesian comic industry and was previously adapted for the screen back in 1981. Abimana Aryasatya will star as Gundala in the new adaptation, with the supporting cast including Tara Basro, Bront Palarae, Rio Dewanto, Ario Bayu, and Muzakki Ramdhan.
The trailer for Gundala clearly highlights Anwar’s horror background, with the sinister looking flock of birds at 0:52 implying that supernatural elements will be at play. We can also see from the trailer that the film will not hold back when it comes to violence, so an R-rating will be likely if it ever makes it to US shores. While an international release has yet to be confirmed, Gundala will open in Indonesia in August.