Director: Murakami took 4 years to approve movie

The director of an upcoming movie based on Haruki Murakami's book "Norwegian Wood" says it took him four years to win the Japanese author's approval to adapt the popular novel.

Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung said Friday that Murakami was initially protective of the love story, which has sold more than 10 million copies in Japan and 2.6 million abroad in 36 languages.

The movie, set in Tokyo in the late 1960s, is about a university student who is torn between two women — the girlfriend of his best friend who committed suicide, and a self-confident and independent woman.

"Norwegian Wood" will open in Japan in December and is scheduled for release in 36 countries.