Australia’s Transmission Films has welcomed the start of filming in Scotland today of THE RAILWAY MAN, directed by Jonathan Teplitzky and starring Oscar winners .

Stellan Skarsgård and Hiroyuki Sanada have also joined the stellar cast.

Principal photography starts in Scotland on April 30. The 10-week shoot then moves to Thailand and Queensland, Australia.

Adapted by Frank Cottrell Boyce and Andy Paterson from Eric Lomax’s best-selling book, THE RAILWAY MAN is the epic true story of a war hero and the woman who matched his courage to reclaim the man she loved. 

Eric Lomax (Firth) was one of thousands of Allied prisoners of war forced to work on the construction of the Thai/Burma railway during WW2.  Years later, still haunted by memories of brutality and torture, he met a beautiful woman on a train.

Patti (Kidman) was determined to rid Eric of his demons.  With the help of a wartime colleague (Skarsgård), she set up a mission back to the Bridge on the River Kwai where Eric would confront his tormentor, Nagase (Sanada).

THE RAILWAY MAN is an inspiring true story of heroism and humanity.

Jonathan Teplitzky will direct. The producers are Andy Paterson (Girl With A Pearl Earring), Chris Brown (The Proposition) and Bill Curbishley (Quadrophenia, McVicar). Executive Producers are Claudia Blümhuber and Ian Hutchinson from Silver Reel, Zygi Kamasa for Lionsgate UK, Anand Tucker and Daria Jovicic.

The film is an Australia/UK co-production between Pictures in Paradise and Archer Street, backed by Screen Australia in association with Silver Reel, Screen Queensland, Creative Scotland and Lionsgate UK.  Transmission will release the film in Australia and New Zealand.

Colin Firth won the Academy Award for his performance in Tom Hooper’s The King’s Speech, having been nominated for his work in Tom Ford’s A Single Man. His other film credits include Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, Mamma Mia!  Bridget Jones’ Diary and Shakespeare in Love.

Nicole Kidman’s Academy Award was for Stephen Daldry’s The Hours, and she received nominations for her work in John Cameron Mitchell’s Rabbit Hole and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge!  Among her other film credits are Portrait of a Lady, To Die For and Eyes Wide Shut.

Stellan Skarsgård’s films include The Avengers, Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Mamma Mia! Pirates of the Caribbean, and several films with Lars von Trier, such as Melancholia and Dogville.

One of Japan’s biggest stars, Hiroyuki Sanada will next be seen starring with Keanu Reeves as Oishi in Universal Pictures’ $200 million epic 47 Ronin, set for release on November 21st. this year.  The film is based on one of the most celebrated stories in Japanese history about forty-seven disbanded samurai or ronin who take on a mythical army in order to avenge their master’s wrongful death in 18th century Japan.

Steven Spielberg’s War Horse marked Jeremy Irvine’s first leading role, and he recently completed the leading role of Pip in Mike Newell’s Great Expectations. He will next be seen opposite Dakota Fanning in Ol Parker’s Now is Good. 

Paterson and Teplitzky’s previous production, Burning Man, premiered at last year’s Toronto International Film Festival and was distributed by Transmission Films in Australia and New Zealand.

Andy Paterson last worked with Colin Firth on Girl With A Pearl Earring.  His previous films, including Hilary and Jackie, Restoration and Beyond The Sea have received multiple Oscar and BAFTA nominations.

Chris Brown is an award-winning producer whose credits include The Company of Wolves, Mona LisaDancing Through the DarkThe Proposition and Daybreakers. Based in Australia, he owns production company Pictures in Paradise in Queensland. In 2004 Brown won Independent Producer of the Year from the Australian Producers Association.  He executive produced BAIT 3D, released by Paramount Pictures earlier this year.

“”We are overjoyed to be working with Jonathan, Andy and Chris again, and the accomplished creative team and cast they’ve brought together for what we know will be a remarkable film. THE RAILWAY MAN is truly an international production, with a story that has roots in Australia plus a wealth of Australia talent in front and behind the camera. This will be a major film for 2013,” said Transmission Films’ Andrew Mackie.