After much speculation, director Syamsul Yusof has confirmed he will be filming the sequel to Munafik … and he has found his leading lady – award-winning actress Maya Karin.
“I’m very excited to be a part of Munafik 2. I’ve always wanted to work with Skop Production. When (producer) Datuk Yusof Haslam called to offer me the part, I said yes right away,” said Maya, 37, during an interview in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Released in 2016, Munafik is a horror film which focuses on how Ustaz Adam (played by Syamsul) tries to help Maria (Nabila Huda), a woman possessed by a malevolent spirit. The film earned RM19mil from box office collection in Malaysia, Singapore and Brunei. It also won the Malaysia Film Festival award for Best Malaysian Film.
In Munafik 2, Maya will take on the role of Sakinah, a poor single mother living in an isolated village.
Syamsul, 32, revealed that the plot for Munafik 2 involves Ustaz Adam going head to head with a man and his misguided religious teachings. Sakinah will be affected by an evil spirit linked to the man.
It’s a role that Maya has been looking to add to her resume. The actress, who is synonymous with horror offerings like Pontianak Harum Sundal Malam, Waris Jari Hantu and Jwanita, wants to break away from playing the role of the “scary one”.
“If they said I have to play a hantu or a pontianak again, I would be a little bit disappointed. How many times do I want to keep doing the same thing? This role is a perfect mix. Now, I get to be the one who is scared instead. I really want that. Something different,” said Maya.
However, the actress has to go on a diet to achieve the look of a struggling parent. “So it’s just rice, salted fish and ulam for me for the next two weeks!”
Maya who has scaled back on acting projects in recent years also revealed that she’s nervous about going back on set. “I’m a little bit worried because I heard Syamsul is a serious person on set. I used to act with Bront (Palarae) and Remy (Ishak) all the time and now for this movie, it’s with people I’ve never worked with before,” she said.
Syamsul announced that Nasir Bilal Khan, Fauzi Nawawi and Mawi (of Akademi Fantasia fame) will also star in Munafik 2. Shooting starts on March 20 and the movie is scheduled for a 2018 release.
When word got out that Maya is picked to star in Munafik 2, there was chatter that she would be replacing Nabila. But that’s not the case, said Maya.
“I think it’s confusing to the audience if they read in the news that I’m ‘replacing’ her. I really have to stress that I’m not replacing anyone. (Nabila’s) character died in the previous movie. I’m playing an entirely different character,” she explained.
Apart from Munafik 2, Maya will be involved in another acting project but the actress declined to reveal details. She will also be performing at Istana Budaya in a concert with Awie in April.