Second World War movie to film in Malaysia
True-life Second World War story Ni’ihau is using Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios as a production base and will film this summer.
The film is based on an incident sometimes referred to as the Battle of Ni’ihau in December 1941 when a Japanese fighter pilot crash-landed on the Hawaiian island of Ni’ihau after taking part in the attack on Pearl Harbor.
The pilot recruited locals of Japanese descent in a bid to overcome his captors.
America’s subsequent policy to intern nearly 120,000 Japanese-Americans until the end of the war was directly influenced by the events on Ni’ihau.
“The story of Ni’ihau, and the incident that took place in late 1941, is one I’ve always been drawn to,” said Gabriel Robertson, who wrote the script and will also direct. “As well as its huge historical significance, the story is inherently cinematic in narrative and plays out like a Shakespearean tragedy.”
Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios (pictured) offers five separate sound stages, the largest of which spans 30,300 sq ft, and the facility itself is located at the southern tip of the Malay Peninsula near the border with Singapore.
Malaysia’s 30% filming incentive makes it a production hub in South-East Asia.
The Netflix historical action drama Marco Polo has been among the highest-profile productions to have used the studio as a base.
“The studio space was plentiful in Malaysia and the rebate and cost of crew and general logistics made it all more cost-effective,” said Tim Coddington, a line producer on Marco Polo, in a recent interview with KFTV.
“Smaller films might find Thailand a better fit and there’s good local crew, but if you’re a larger production moving around a lot internationally and transporting your own people, Malaysia works better.”
Image: Pinewood Iskandar Malaysia Studios