Fraternal blood makes fraternal hands unclean

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DINDONG DANTES and Dennis Trillo

A CLASSIC tale of sibling rivalry is what GMA is one of its biggest shows the network is launching this year for its prime time bloc. Cain at Abel hits the small screen on Nov. 19.

Named after the biblical siblings — one of which killed the other — and sharing the name with Lino Brocka’s 1982 film, GMA’s version focuses on two brothers who were separated young and lived drastically different lives: one raised in wealth and the other raised in poverty.

After years of separation, the brothers meet again — at the end of each other’s guns as they get embroiled in a scheme that might lead to the death of one or both of them.

The series stars Jose Sixto “Dingdong” Dantes and Abelardo “Dennis Trillo” Ho in the main roles of Daniel and Miguel/Elias.

“We can say that there have been stories like this before but, I guess, not realized on this scale,” Don Michael Perez, the director, told the media shortly after the series’ launch on Nov. 13 at Prime hotel in Quezon City.

Mr. Perez said that while there have been countless stories using the same premise — he himself just finished one: Kambal Karibal whose 178 episodes ended its run in August — what drew him to the project is how “tight” the story is.

“It’s been a long time since I’ve read a script I haven’t written that I want to direct so badly,” he said.

“Expect it to be really bloody,” Mr. Perez said, pointing out the promotional trailer shown to the media where both stars shoot at each other in a tenement housing project.

But despite the abundance of chases and a scene of an exploding car, Mr. Perez doesn’t like calling the series an “action-drama.”

“I would call it a drama with a lot of action because in the end, it’s all about family, it’s about sacrifice,” he said.

He explained that one of his influences when directing the series was Willy Russell’s Blood Brothers, about fraternal twins separated at birth, one who lived in wealth and the other poor. Both fall in love with the same girl which leads to their deaths.

He also took cues from the aforementioned Lino Brocka film — “it was also bloody and both brothers died.”

This doesn’t mean, however, that the brothers in the GMA series will suffer the same fate as Mr. Perez said the ending is still under debate.

“We have an idea where it’s going, but the big question is: who dies? Who lives?” he said.

Joining Mr. Dantes and Mr. Trillo in the series are Solenn Heussaff, Sanya Lopez, Eddie Gutierrez, Chanda Romero, Dina Bonnevie, Ronnie Henares, Tommy Abuel, and Bing Pimentel, among others.

The series is helmed by Mr. Perez, Mark Reyes, and Toto Natividad and was written by head writer John Roque.

Cain at Abel premieres on Nov. 19 on GMA after 24 Oras. — Zsarlene B. Chua