Yann Martel’s “Life of Pi” was a huge bestseller in 2000 and the film rights were snapped up almost immediately. Since then several filmmakers have tried and apparently failed to get the movie beyond the script stage. The most well-known attempts were made by M. Night Shyamalan and more recently, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, who actually completed a script with his Amelie co-scribe Guillaume Laurent. Now one more name director has thrown his proverbial hat into the lifeboat…
Per Variety, Ang Lee is in talks to helm an adaptation of the book and plans to start fresh with a new script. The story follows an Indian boy named Patel who survives a sinking ship only to end up in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a hungry tiger. The character explores various religions and issues of spirituality both on the boat as well as in recollections of his time spent in India, and part of the tale involves Patel recounting his story to authorities. I can see this film getting fast-tracked now that we’re in a post-Slumdog Millionaire world, especially after Danny Boyle’s movie wins for Best Picture on Sunday.
Lee has wrapped production on his latest film, Taking Woodstock, and may make Life of Pi his next project. Like Boyle, Lee is one of the rare directors who knows no genre boundaries. He’s made action films, dramas, period pieces, comic book adaptations, and comedies, and he’s shown a strong sense of style and of the material every time.
Look Aleric! Another one! No negativity or cynicism… two down, one to go!