South Korea’s CJ Entertainment has picked up international sales rights to ambitious Malaysian drama “The Garden of Evening Mists.” The film’s cast mixes high profile Asian and Western stars.
The picture is an adaptation of a novel of the same title by Tan Twan Eng, which was nominated for the Man Booker Prize in 2012. It tells a tale of cultural complexity shortly after World War II in British-controlled Malaya. The story features a female law graduate who seeks a quiet life in the idyllic Cameron Highlands, but finds love and a common interest in gardening in the arms of a mysterious Japanese man.
Production is by Astro Shaw, part of the Astro part of pay-TV giant, and HBO, with financial support from the National Film Development Corporation of Malaysia (FINAS). Shooting wrapped in August, and delivery is set for 2019.
“Garden” is directed by Taiwan’s Tom Lin and adapted by Scottish BAFTA-winning screenwriter Richard Smith. The cast includes Malaysian actress Lee Sinje (“The Eye”), Japanese actor Hiroshi Abe (“After the Storm”), Taiwanese actress Sylvia Chang (“Love Education”), and British actors David Oakes (“Cold Skin”,) Julian Sands (“The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo”,) and John Hannah (“The Mummy”).
Theatrical releases are being planned. These will precede digital, linear and on-demand distribution handled by HBO Asia across the 23 territories in its footprint.