Rob Allyn, an American film producer with a solid, if unspectacular back catalogue, has been travelling around Sarawak scoping out the possibility of making a film about Sir James Brooke, provisionally titled 'White Rajah'. With official backing from the Sarawak government and the descendants of the Brooke family, I'm guessing that the plot won't dwell on some of the more controversial aspects of the first Rajah's rule. Still, if it's based on James Brooke's life, there's going to be a lot of overlap with the book.
The producers have announced a $15 million budget and say that some leading stars have been lined up for the movie, though no names have been mentioned yet. What we do know is that the film will be shot largely on location in Sarawak and that they are planning to build a full size replica of Brooke's ship, The Royalist.
The Sarawak government hopes that any film will put Sarawak more firmly on the tourist map, while people like me are hoping for an upsurge of interest in James Brooke. It's early days yet, though. There have been plans to film Brooke's story before and they have all come to nothing. Fingers crossed it happens this time!