I’m not convinced that adapting Haruki Murakami’s novels to the screen represents anything but folly, though if you’re going to try, his breakout hit Norwegian Wood is the obvious place to start. The novel is set in the late ’60s at a Tokyo university, where freshman student Toru Watanabe has relationships with two young women, Naoko and Midori. It’s a romance with a lot of ’60s pop culture and commentary, and some realistically haunting passages and imagery.
Tran Anh Hung (The Scent of Green Papaya) is directing and has just added Kenichi Matsuyama (Death Note), Rinko Kikuchi (Babel) and Kiko Mizuhara as the three principals. The highlight of that list is Kikuchi. She might not be a recognizable name right now, but anyone who sees The Brothers Bloom will be desperate to see more of her. As Bang Bang, the silent sidekick to Mark Ruffalo’s character Stephen, Kikuchi threatens to steal every scene in which she appears. (As seen here.)