Murakami took 4 years to approve Norwegian Wood film

Director Tran Anh Hung, who turned the hugely popular book Norwegian Wood, by Haruki Murakami, into a film, has spoken for the first time about the production process.

According to Hung the film has been a long time coming, as it took him four years to persuade the Japanese author to allow him to use his novel.

Hung first approached Murakami back in 2004, but the project wasn’t approved until 2008.

Speaking about the movie, Hung said:

“Murakami protected his work, he gave us two conditions. One is that he would like to see the script, the other is he would like to know what would be the budget for the movie.

“I’ve read some other love stories, but this one is very special,” Hung added.

And we agree with him, as does most of Japan it seems. The book turned Murakami into somewhat of a superstar.

Set in Tokyo during the late 1960s, it is a nostalgic story of loss and sexuality. The protagonist Toro Watanabe, looks back on his time at university and the relationship he developed with two very different women- the beautiful yet emotionally troubled Naoko, and the outgoing, lively Midori.

The title of the novel comes from The Beatles‘ song Norwegian Wood, which is mentioned regularly in the book, as it is the favourite song of the character Naoko. The original Beatles music features in the film.

Norwegian Wood, which stars Rinko Kikuchi, Kiko Mizuhara and Kenichi Matsuyama, was nominated for the Golden Lion at the 67th Venice International Film Festival.

It comes out in Japan later this month. As of yet, there is no UK or US release date, in the meantime take a look at the trailer below.

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