The upcoming Hollywood film based on Sarawak's first Rajah Brooke, Sir James Brooke, has been retitled Edge Of The World, and is still on course for a June 2021 release, its producer Rob Allyn said.
Previously known as Rajah, the movie stars Irish actor Jonathan Rhys Meyers (The Tudors) in the lead role, alongside Hong Kong actress Josie Ho (Dream Home) as Madame Lim, Brooke’s former lover, and Dominic Monaghan (who played the hobbit Merry in the acclaimed Lord Of The Rings trilogy) as Colonel Arthur Crookshank, Brooke’s cousin and comrade-in-arms.
In an interview conducted over the phone from the United States, Allyn said they wanted a "more sweeping, epic and global title", hence the change.
Allyn also confirmed that Samuel Goldwyn Films acquired the US rights to the film, and that it is slated for a June cinematic release in the US and Malaysia (depending on how the Covid-19 situation pans out), with the rest of the world to follow after that.
Written by Allyn himself and directed by Michael Haussman, the movie is based on the true story of Sarawak's first Rajah Brooke, Sir James Brooke, who was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling's famous The Man Who Would Be King and Joseph Conrad's novel Lord Jim.
Shot entirely on location in “the jungles, rivers, beaches, national parks, authentic longhouses and historic towns of Sarawak", Edge Of The World is made with the support of the Sarawak Tourism Board and the Film In Malaysia Incentive’s rebate on Qualifying Malaysian Production Expenditure. The Brooke Heritage Trust served as the film’s technical advisory.
Known as the “White Rajah”, Brooke was a former British soldier who travelled to Borneo in 1839, where he helped the Sultan of Brunei put down a pirate rebellion and was bequeathed the land of Sarawak as his own private kingdom. Rajah Brooke’s dynasty would last three generations across 100 years.
The movie will also star several Malaysian and Indonesian actors, including Bront Palarae, Shaheizy Sam, as well as Sarawakian actors Peter John and Kahar Jimi.