Filming has started for the movie adaptation of The Garden Of Evening Mists, the award-winning novel by Penang-born writer Tan Twan Eng.
Set to premiere next year, the movie will be shot in Malaysian locations such as the tea plantations in Cameron Highlands, Malaysian film production company Astro Shaw and partners HBO Asia and Malaysia's National Film Development Corp (Finas) announced on Monday.
Tan's second novel, published in 2012, won the Man Asian Literary Prize and Walter Scott Prize for historical fiction. It was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize.
Head of Astro Shaw Najwa Abu Bakar said in a press release: "The lyrical and beautiful story captivates its readers with the mesmerising beauty of Malaya after World War II, and we are confident that the vivid adaptation will resonate among Asian audiences and beyond, due to many similarities in shared culture, language and history."
Helmed by Taiwanese director Tom Lin, the movie is set in the 1950s and 1980s and features an international cast.
Award-winning Taiwanese film-maker, actress and singer Sylvia Chang stars as main character Teoh Yun Ling, a judge who looks back on her life during the Japanese occupation in Malaysia.
She commissions Nakamura Aritomo, a Japanese gardener played by Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe, to design a garden in memory of her sister, who died in a Japanese internment camp during the war.
The film also stars Malaysian actress-singer Lee Sinje, who won the Golden Horse Award for Best Actress for 2002 horror flick The Eye, and Singaporean actress Tan Kheng Hua.
Other cast members include British actor John Hannah, best known for his roles in Hollywood films like Four Weddings And A Funeral (1994) and The Mummy trilogy (1999 to 2008); and fellow English actors Julian Sands (The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo, 2011; Naked Lunch, 1991) and David Oakes (Victoria, 2016 to 2017).
The film's crew includes Scottish screenwriter Richard Smith, who won a Bafta (British Academy of Film and Television Arts) Scotland award in 2002, and make-up and hair designer Nikki Gooley, known for her Bafta-winning work in The Chronicles Of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe (2005).