Casting their netizen

SINGAPORE - Coming to a screen near you: Bloggers in a Jack Neo movie.

The local producer-director is casting his net for new talent and he has set his sights on our very own bloggers who have dominated the social media platform.

In an interview with The New Paper on Sunday last week, Neo, 52, explains: "Many of them (the bloggers) are names in the blogging world.

"Mention them and chances are, nine out of 10 would know who they are."

Neo rattles off some examples: Aaron Tan, Steven Lim, Noah Yap and Mr Brown in the male camp.

Or, the women bloggers such as Xiaxue, Dawn Yang, Qiu Qiu or Peggy Heng.

Though women will be cast, Neo's focus for the movie are the men as the title of his new military-themed film indicates - Ah Boys To Men.

Slated for a year-end or early 2013 release, the film boasts a budget of approximately $3 million, and it is set to become Singapore's most expensive film to date.

Other than creating "never-before-seen war scenes in Singapore", Neo also hopes to set another milestone in his search for new faces.

He says: "It may be safer to bet on familiar faces (for the cast) but I feel it's time to inject fresh breath to a scene."

Neo needs to make up a platoon of 40 soldiers from different racial backgrounds - Chinese, Malays, Indians and Eurasians.

The different races, he says, are representatives of a real local army platoon.

Neo admits that he hit on the idea of picking local, opinionated bloggers for their current status: They are popular.

They also have a fan base and have become personalities in their own right.

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