Shooting for Nonzee Nimibutr's historical epic, Queens of Pattani (Puen Yai Jone Sa Lad), finally gets under way this month after two years of planning, according to today's Soopsip column in The Nation.
A swashbuckling adventure about pirates in the Gulf of Thailand 400 years ago, the movie is set in the Pattani kingdom in the south of Thailand during the Ayutthaya era. The script is by Seawrite winner Win Liawarin.
Choopong Diaw Changprung (aka Dan Choopong) from Born To Fight and Ananda Everingham from Shutter star. Not sure who the aforementioned Queens of the title are portrayed by.
Part of the hold-up probably had to do with funding. Originally conceived as a two-part epic, the project was green-lighted by Sahamongkol Films with a budget of more than 200 million baht, but that budget was cut back to 100 million for the two episodes, Soopsip says.
Seems that Nonzee, who was among Thailand's "new wave" of directors back in the late 1990s and used to have a lot of juice in the local film industry, has lost some of his influence.
Not sure how much historical epic 100 million baht (about US$2.5 million) will buy, but Nonzee will start filming village scenes and the seaside footage along Thailand's Eastern Seaboard. At any rate, it's good to hear that the director of such films as Nang Nak and Jan Dara is back at work.
(Cross-published at Rotten Tomatoes)