Finally! After months of waiting, we will get to see Alexandra Trese in action on the screen as she makes her debut on Netflix this Friday, June 11.
The Netflix adaptation is based on Trese, an award-winning horror and crime comic book series that is centered on a supernatural realm where creatures and monsters based from Philippine mythology exist within the human world. It was created by writer Budjette Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo.
Here are five facts about Trese that you should know before it drops:
1. Trese can trace its origins to a horror radio show.
According to the introduction written by Ruel S. De Vera for Trese: Book of Murders, Trese writer Budjette Tan, along with his friend Mark Gatela, released a radio show featuring horror stories that was narrated by a character named Anton Trese. The show was short-lived but the concept would find a new iteration in comic form through the collaboration of Tan and artist Kajo Baldisimo, who met when they were working in the advertising industry.
Both of them shared the love for comics and Baldisimo suggested that the two collaborate on working out a 20-page comic book. Budjette modified Anton Trese into a new character named Alexandra Trese, a female detective who solves crimes that involve supernatural creatures and monsters. The rest was history.
2. The first Trese comic book was released more than 15 years ago.
The first print run of Trese was only around 40 copies (according to Budjette Tan's CNN interview) and was published by the creators themselves. Visprint acquired it in 2007 and made the comics more readily accessible to Filipino comic readers. It is now available in the US through Ablaze Publishing. You can also shop the volumes here.
3. Trese series adaptation is more than 10 years in the making.
Since Trese was born out of Tan and Baldisimo’s way to escape reality and just do something they enjoy, both didn’t really think about making it big in the comic industry. As Tan said in an interview with CNN, “When we started [Trese], we didn’t think about world domination.”
But after they released the fifth book, the creators of Trese started getting offers to adapt their comic.
In the same interview with CNN, Tan revealed that there were two producers helping them to pitch Trese and make it into an animated film/series. After years of getting rejected, they finally landed a yes with Netflix in 2018. It is the first Filipino comic book series to become a Netflix Original Anime series.
4. The series is being made by superb talent—from directors to voice actors.
Jay Oliva, a Filipino-American animated film director and storyboard artist, is the showrunner of the Trese series. Many comic geeks know him as the director behind various Batman animated movies. He also served as a storyboard artist for films such as Ant-Man (2015), Deadpool (2016), and Wonder Woman (2017).
According to reports, Trese also banners series directors: David Hartman, Time Divar, and Mel Zwyer—all who have worked and contributed to animated series such as Young Justice and Transformers: Prime Star Wars Rebels.
Meanwhile, the composers of the show: Kevin Kiner, Dean Kiner, and Sean Kiner consequently worked with scoring Star Wars: The Clone Wars.
Mikh Vergara and Zig Marasigan (Patintero: Ang Alamang ni Meng Patalo) as well as Tanya Yuson are credited as writers.
Actress Liza Soberano was tapped to be the voice of the Alexandra Trese for the Filipino version of the series while Shay Mitchell, known for her roles in Pretty Little Liars and You, will do the English dub.
5. Expect monsters rooted in Filipino folklore. Lots and lots of supernatural creatures!
One thing that makes Trese special is the creatures inspired by Filipino mythology. Aswang, manananggal, kapre, tikbalang, and nuno sa punso—Alexandra Trese will fight these monsters and more to protect the human world with help of her twin bodyguards, Crispin and Basilio, or better known as The Kambal.
Fans can also join the Fully Booked Midnight Tribunal: Trese Reaction Thread where viewers can share their comments and reactions on our Facebook page as we all watch the first episode at the same time together.
We can’t wait—see you!
TRESE: Bloodlines is an anthology of comic book stories set in the Trese universe. When the sun sets in the city of Manila and the denizens of the dark prepare to prey on its people, the Trese family take their posts at the dimly-lit corners of the metro.
Get Trese Bloodlines, Vol. 1 (Paperback) by Budjette Tan and other graphic novel books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.
Budjette Tan, Kajo Baldisimo
Each card depicts a "light day" —those in between moments when they are not fighting aswang or investigating some crime. Each card comes with a short story—in the form of a letter from one of the characters—giving us a glimpse of Trese during her most personal moments, during her younger days and during those summers of many years past.
Get TRESE Lite Postcard, Book 1 (Paperback) by Budjette Tan and other local graphic novel books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Award-winning Filipino comic book and soon to be Netflix anime series!
When the sun sets in the city of Manila, don’t you dare make a wrong turn and end up in that dimly- lit side of the metro, where blood-sucking aswang run the most-wanted kidnapping rings, where gigantic kapre are the kingpins of crime, and magical engkantos slip through the cracks and steal your most precious possessions. When crime takes a turn for the weird, the police call Alexandra Trese.
Get Trese, Vol. 1: Murder On Balete Drive (Paperback) by Budjette Tan and other graphic novel books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More
Try to remain calm as you walk down the dimly lit streets. If you are suddenly surrounded by a pack of dogs that appear from nowhere – these might be segben tracking down their prey. Avoid the butcher’s shop that’s open at this hour. It might be a front for a gang of vampiric aswang.
Yet, there’s an even deadlier threat to the city tonight. An ancient being that thrives on violence and thirsts for blood has found new disciples in this modern-day city.
Get Trese, Vol. 3: Mass Murders (Paperback) by Budjette Tan and other graphic novel books online and at Fully Booked bookstore branches in the Philippines.Learn More