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Life of Pi

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Forgive me if this is a repeat, but I have been following the announcement that Jeunet will be filming Life of Pi. After reading the book, I wondered how the more imaginative scenes towards the end of the book would be filmed. I suppose we are going to find out. A whimsical montage that chronicles some of the animal stories in the introduction should be right up his alley.

Edited by SDG

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Link to the thread on the book in the 'Literature and Writing' forum.

Since this website's search engine doesn't heed any words of less than three letters, I think someone should mention author Yann Martel here, just to make sure this thread comes up in searches.

Oh, wait, I guess I just did that.

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Seems like a good choice: a bit of the whimsy Amilie, a bit of the darkness of Delicatessan. Scene I thought would be really hard to do (and one I didn't much like in the book) is the living island.

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I am right there with you. The book almost ground to a halt when I came to those chapters and I can't wrap my head around what that would look like in film. The end of the Island bit could be fantastically disturbing if done correctly. It seems though that Jeneut's great sense of pacing will force him to adapt that scene in a way that makes it much more useful.

Edited by MLeary

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In the 2 years since the last post, apparently Jeunet is no longer doing it. There is no director (or screenwriter for that matter) listed on the Life of Pi IMDB page.

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EXCLUSIVE: 'Life Of Pi' next for Ang Lee

Ang Lee has confirmed that his next movie will be an adaptation of Yann Martel's Man Booker Prize-winning novel Life Of Pi for Fox 2000. . . .

Lee noted that the project is still at the scripting stages and he hasn't started thinking about who will play the lead character, Indian boy Piscine 'Pi' Molitor Patel. . . .

DigitalSpy.com, October 28

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Excellent news Peter.

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It's been years since I've read Life of 3.1416..., but I think it's a project tailor-made for Dev Patel.

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Life of Pi Seeks Fox Green Light with Ang Lee Directing in 3-D

Gabler and the filmmakers are lining up a big budget well north of $70 million for a 3-D magical fantasy adventure crammed with visual effects. There’s a shipwreck, the ship sinks, and a teenage boy is launched overboard and climbs into a life raft with a zebra, hyena and a tiger. There are many CG animals (whales, fish, meercats) plus ocean and atmosphere. “It has a gigantic visual effects component,” says Gabler. “You can’t put a live tiger in a boat with a child. It has elements of Castaway, when the kid is alone in the boat. You don’t need language to convey what’s on the screen. We need to make the movie for the whole world.”

Anne Thompson, April 28

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'Life of Pi' suffers another blow

EXCLUSIVE: Speaking of difficult books and the development challenges that accompany them, here comes another example, and it's a high-profile one.

"Life of Pi," Yann Martel's bestselling Booker Prize winner that has had more development go-rounds than a male Bengal tiger has mates, may be on its way back to the development cage. Eclectic director Ang Lee had been set to shoot the movie, possibly even in 3-D, but budget concerns appear to be putting the project on hold.

Lee and producer Gil Netter have returned to Fox 2000 with a budget that sources say is too high for the studio division. (A recent Indiewire piece put it in the $70 million range.)

The filmmakers can still reconfigure the budget, but until they do, the film isn't moving forward. . . .

Los Angeles Times, May 27

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Indian teen newcomer gets 'Life of Pi' lead

Fox 2000's bigscreen adaptation of Yann Martel's tome "Life of Pi" is at last rowing off to sea, with Ang Lee set to start lensing the fantasy adventure early next year.

After a monthslong search during which 3,000 young men auditioned, Lee has cast 17-year-old newcomer Suraj Sharma in the title role. Sharma is a student who lives with his mathematician parents in Delhi, India. Fox will release the pic on Dec. 14, 2012.

"Life of Pi" will be Lee's first 3D pic and utilize state-of-the-art technology in rendering the adventure tale.

Lee will direct from a script by David Magee ("Finding Neverland"). Lee begins principal photography in January in Taiwan and India. . . .

Variety, October 25

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If they're sticking with the structure of the book, calling Maguire the star would be like calling the guy who interviewed Salieri the star of Amadeus.

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The new Life of Pi: onscreen, in 3-D

When the film version of Life of Pi comes out in late 2012 (in 3-D!), watch for the scene where the older Piscine ‘Pi’ Molitor Patel (Irrfan Khan), now living in Canada, tells his amazing tiger tale to a journalist (Tobey Maguire). In the background, across a pond, there’s a man sitting on a bench, writing notes. That’s Life of Pi author Yann Martel, who shot his cameo in Montreal last month as the international production finally wrapped, after more than 100 days of shooting.

“They invited me to be an extra,” said Martel from his home in Saskatoon, where he is busy with a newborn (Lola) and a toddler (Theo). “It was quite fun.” . . .

Martel says that under Lee’s direction, he expects the technology will contribute to, rather than overshadow, the storytelling. “The danger of 3-D would be I guess that it looks spectacular, but it feels hollow. That’s why I was happy to have someone like Ang Lee, who is too sensitive a director and too ambitious to want to do something that just looks good but is clunky and has no heart.” . . .

Martel also spoke with Maguire. “He was interested in knowing my state of mind when I wrote Life of Pi,” says Martel, who took a call from Maguire after the Spider-Man star signed onto the project. Maguire also asked to see photos of Martel’s influential travels in India. They met in person for the first time in Montreal and the author was amused to see Maguire looking a bit like him, with curlyish hair and a few days’ growth of facial hair.

“Considering very few people know what I look like, it was funny to have them make that effort,” said Martel. . . .

Globe and Mail, July 6

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The Huffington Post has a picture from the set. The story also mentions this:

"starring Tobey Maguire as Yann Martel himself."

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o-LIFE-OF-PI-MOVIE-900.jpg

Edited by Tyler

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The official website opens with the clip below. It then scrolls through some impressive still shots/art from the movie.

I've read the full trailer also played in front of 3-D screenings of Prometheus. I can't find it online. Anyone get to see it?

Edited by Tyler

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The official website opens with the clip below. It then scrolls through some impressive still shots/art from the movie.

I've read the full trailer also played in front of 3-D screenings of Prometheus. I can't find it online. Anyone get to see it?

Yeah. I saw it. It was artful, elegant, and gorgeous. It has potential to be a film that uses 3D in a similar way to Wim Wenders' film.

Edited by Attica

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The official website opens with the clip below. It then scrolls through some impressive still shots/art from the movie.

I've read the full trailer also played in front of 3-D screenings of Prometheus. I can't find it online. Anyone get to see it?

Yeah, it looked great. But I can't imagine it reaching anyone who hasn't read the book. The friend who came to the film with me was confused as hell.

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You guys have to be kidding at me.

This looks horrible. And this is from someone who thinks highly of the book.

Everything about the clip is wrong. The CG tiger is horrible. The flying fish are terrible and unbelievable and facile and have none of the importance they have in the book.

They honestly couldn't have made it any worse.

Edit: To be specific here. Yartel's great accomplishment with the first part of the book is making us believe that a boy could survive in a lifeboat with a tiger.

In less than two minutes, that feeling is totally stripped away by Ang's film. We don't believe it. We can't. All we are given is a cartoon Indian and a cartoon tiger and sentimentality.

Edited by Timothy Zila

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I don't know, I thought the tiger looked pretty real.

And I'm curious to see what Ang Lee will do. He's made some failures, but he's nothing if not a director who will give it his all.

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You guys have to be kidding at me.

This looks horrible. And this is from someone who thinks highly of the book.

Everything about the clip is wrong. The CG tiger is horrible. The flying fish are terrible and unbelievable and facile and have none of the importance they have in the book.

They honestly couldn't have made it any worse.

Edit: To be specific here. Yartel's great accomplishment with the first part of the book is making us believe that a boy could survive in a lifeboat with a tiger.

In less than two minutes, that feeling is totally stripped away by Ang's film. We don't believe it. We can't. All we are given is a cartoon Indian and a cartoon tiger and sentimentality.

Did you see it in 3D?

I read the book years ago and also loved it. I didn't view the trailer as being cartoonish as much as a little surreal and otherwordly..... like the book. For me the tiger had a bit of this surreal feel but still seemed real enough. As to the flying fishes importance, we've only seen a part of the scene and don't know everything that the films going to do with it.

Edited by Attica

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I did see it in 3D, in the theater (although that almost goes without saying given the 3D).

I'll give the film to be chance, but I honestly expect a failure of The Last Airbender proportions here, and I can't imagine the 'we're only going to show scenes' marketing thing will be very successful. It's certainly tempting to think it's the studio's way of hiding how much of a failure the film looks like (at least on a commercial level).

And I can't really ever sanction the integration of human actors with 3D characters in this sort of context . . . it ends up being as stupid as Alvin and the Chipmunks or any such projects.

If they wanted surreal they should have made an animated film . . . if they wanted realism they should have found a way to either work with actual tigers, or used puppets, etc. Something tangible, though.

On a non-CG (although related level), the actor playing Pi here looks pretty bad. His reaction to the tiger was stereotypical.

I can only pray the scene works better within the context of the film than it does here.

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Timothy Zila said:

:I'll give the film to be chance, but I honestly expect a failure of The Last Airbender proportions here,

Could very well be. It seems like a hard book to put to film, and I expect the book's fans would be pretty demanding, wanting a well made sophisticated film.

:and I can't imagine the 'we're only going to show scenes' marketing thing will be very successful. It's certainly tempting to think it's the studio's way of hiding how much of a failure the film looks like (at least on a commercial level).

Like mentioned above, the marketing might not reach out past the book's fans. I might be wrong on this but I'd wonder if showing a particular scene like that shows a certain confidence in the film. I guess that remains to be seen though.

Edited by Attica

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