"Murakami protected his work. He gave us two conditions. One is that he would like to see the script. The other one is he would like to know what would be the budget for the movie," said Vietnamese-French director Tran Anh Hung.
Hung said he's wanted to make the novel into a movie since the first time he read it in 1994.
"I've read some other love stories, but this one is very special. The book reveals some shadows that are hidden inside of you," Tran said. "It is about love and lost love. It's about mourning. It's about feelings of making up with life after the death of your loved ones."
"Norwegian Wood" is set in Tokyo in the late 1960s. The story follows a university student who is torn between two women.
The film was nominated for the Venice Film Festival's Golden Lion award in September. The movie will open in Japan in December and is slated for release in 36 countries.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.