Bela Padilla will replace Nadine Lustre in ‘Miracle in Cell No. 7’ remake

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, July 25)— Filipino-British actress and model Bela Padilla will be taking the spot of Nadine Lustre as lead actress in the much-anticipated remake of Korean hit film “Miracle in Cell No. 7,” an official from the Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) said Thursday.

MMFF spokesperson Noel Ferrer confirmed to CNN Philippines that the 28-year-old Padilla will replace Lustre, who had begged off due to “medical concerns.”

“(Lustre) has begged off the project due to medical concerns and her resulting inability to perform her duties as an actress during the shoot up to the promotion of the film,” Lustre’s talent agency Viva Artists Agency said in a letter to the MMFF executive committee.

“Miracle in Cell No. 7” is a multi-awarded Korean drama comedy film that was released in 2013. It follows the story of Yong-gu, a mentally challenged single father who was wrongly imprisoned for the murder of a young girl. The remake was named one of the official entries for the annual movie festival later in December.

Aside from acting, Padilla also has screenwriting credits to her name. She penned the romance-comedy film “Luck at First Sight” and the Piolo Pascual-Toni Gonazaga movie “Last Night.”

She will be paired with Aga Muhlach, who began his career as a child actor in the '70s. Muhlach grew as a household name in the industry with films such as “Bagets” (1984) and “Sana Maulit Muli” (1995), until the early 2000s. His latest film was “First Love” in 2018, with Bea Alonzo.

CNN Philippines' Tristan Nodalo contributed to this report.