The Japanese Dean Fujioka (“Fullmetal Alchemist”, “The Man From The Sea”) and the British Callum Woodhouse (“All Creatures Great and Small”, “The Durrells”) will star in “Orang Ikan”, a creature horror film set during World War II. The film has a script from Singapore and Indonesia. Mike Wiluan (“Buffalo Boys,” HBO series “Grisse”), who will also direct the film starting next month.

International rights to “Orang Ikan” have been acquired by London-based SC Films International, which will launch sales of the project at the Busan festival and accompanying market next month.

Set in the Pacific, 1942, a Japanese ship transports prisoners of war to occupied territories as slave labor. After being torpedoed by Allied submarines, a Japanese soldier and a British prisoner of war are stranded on a desert island, but soon discover they are not alone. They are being hunted by a ferocious mythological creature, the Orang Ikan, a human-fish hybrid. Unable to communicate in each other’s languages, the two mortal enemies must band together to survive the unknown.

Production on the film will begin in October 2023 at Wiluan’s Infinite Studios in Batam, Indonesia, one of the largest production services facilities in Southeast Asia and just a ferry ride from Singapore, before moving to the jungles of Java.

The film is produced by a veteran filmmaker. Eric Khoo from Zhao Wei Films of Singapore with production by Gorylah Pictures. Structured as a four-way joint venture between Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and the United Kingdom, the film is also supported by the Singapore Film Commission.

Executive producers are: Yoshi, Grace Wu, Han Minli, Natalya Pavchinskaya, Jomon Thomas, Anthony Khoo, S Shamkumar, Kenneth Poh, Simon Crowe, Matthew Joynes and Takahiro Yamashita. The film will feature music by Akihiko Matsumoto.

“I grew up on a steady diet of horror movies ranging from the supernatural to monster movies. One of my childhood favorites was the classic 1954 monster movie, ‘Creature from the Black Lagoon.’ During the pandemic I came across ‘Hell in the Pacific’, a 1968 war film about a Japanese soldier and an American soldier marooned on an island trying to kill each other. This was my lightbulb moment: what if an Orang Ikan had come ashore in that scenario? To survive, the two mortal enemies would have to team up to fight this terrifying beast! What an exciting premise,” Khoo said. Variety. “I’m very happy that after my 30 years in the film industry, I’m finally able to produce my first feature-length creature feature, and with my frequent collaborator Mike Wiluan to boot.”

“’Orang Ikan’ is an origin story with a survival horror theme set against the backdrop of a realistic tragedy during World War II in Asia. Using studio settings and the wonderful wild landscapes of Indonesia, I am excited to capture the tension, horror and beauty of this concept in various exotic locations,” said Wiluan. “We have assembled a wonderful cast, talented artists and the best team to take on this incredible adventure. “Every production will have its own set of unique challenges and this film would be an ultimate physical and creative challenge for me that I look forward to addressing.”

SC Films Busan’s lineup also includes animated films “Dragonkeeper” and “Girl in the Clouds” and live-action films “On Fire,” “Little Bone Lodge,” “December” and the new Australian thriller “Captive.”

‘Orang Ikan’ concept art (Courtesy of SC Films International)
SC Films International