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Ang Lee: First Signs of Life of Pi


I like to consider myself one part book nerd, the other part film geek.  So nothing excites me more than when these two worlds come together.  That’s why news that we’re one step closer to a film adaptation of Yann Martel’s prize-winning novel Life of Pi really “floats my boat.”  Well, you’ll get that reference in a minute if you don’t already.

Life of Pi won England’s prestigious Man Booker Prize back in 2002, and after devouring it page by page in a matter of hours, I made it my mission to read every other Booker Prize winner I could get my hands on.  The story concerns little Piscine “Pi” Molitor Patel, who survives a shipwreck only to find himself adrift in a lifeboat with four very unlikely shipmates: a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan, and a tiger.

In February of this year, it was announced that Ang Lee of Brokeback Mountain fame would be taking over as director of the film adaptation.  Names connected to this project have included Alfonso Cuaron, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, and M. Night Shyamalan.  And while the novel’s final twist is worthy of a Shyamalanesque ending, I’m glad to hear a director with a more, shall we say, “subtle” touch will be at the helm.

parker460Last week, Digital Spy reported that Ang Lee plans to make Life of Pi his next project and intends to refocus his attention in that direction.  Lee has completed his first draft of the script.  He claims to have finally “cracked the structure of the movie.”  To avoid the inevitable carnage of cramming four wild animals and a human child into a boat, Lee imagines he’ll be forced to employ some CGI, but beyond that he hasn’t quite figured how to film this story.   He says, “I’m delivering the first draft. I think I’ve cracked the structure of the movie and I’ll figure out how to do it later. How exactly I’m going to do it, I don’t know!”

The Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon director also mentioned that it might take up to two years before he can deliver the finished product, so it sounds like I and other Pi-lovers have a little while longer to wait.