Ang Lee Helming Adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi
by Alex Billington
February 18, 2009
Not to be confused with Monty Python's Life of Brian, Yann Martel's novel "Life of Pi" is set to be adapted by Taiwanese director Ang Lee. The story follows an Indian boy named Piscine "Pi" Molitor Pate who is the lone survivor of a sunken freighter that winds up sharing a lifeboat with a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a hungry Bengal tiger. So it's kind of like The Jungle Book and Noah's Ark combined, or at least that's my initial perception. The project is being developed at Fox 2000 and while there are older scripts around, including one by M. Night Shyamalan, Lee will find and hire a new writer to adapt.
Fox producer Gil Netter, who has a very sketchy track record with films like Phone Booth, Flicka, Eragon, and Marley & Me to his name, is producing. Ang Lee is currently finishing his Taking Woodstock film, which is slated for release this August from Focus Features. I'm a big fan of Ang Lee and think he's one of the great directors in Hollywood, but this concept is just a little too odd for me to get excited about. I'm wondering if this is inspired by the mainstream success of Slumdog Millionaire? The book has a lot of positive feedback on Amazon, so maybe it's actually a great story. We'll find out soon enough!