Fox Showing Full Clips Instead of Trailers for 'Life of Pi' This Summer
Get ready for something… unlike anything you've ever seen before. For all we know, that could be the tagline they use. The NY Times' Media Decoder blog is reporting that 20th Century Fox is taking an unconventional route to promote Ang Lee's upcoming adaptation of Yann Martel's Life of Pi, another "unfilmable" novel being made into a 3D movie, hitting theaters in November. The studio will be playing a full-length, uncut clip from the film before Prometheus this weekend, in 3D, in lieu of an actual trailer for the film. I'm very curious to see the actual footage they've decided to show for this, and see how it plays in theaters anyway.
The Times writes that "Fox plans to unspool a few minutes from the film — uncut, in one continuous scene — and show it before Prometheus," arriving in US theaters this weekend. They will follow that up with another unique clip in front of Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter on June 22nd, and another one on Ice Age: Continental Drift on July 13th, to continue to promote it to different crowds with different footage — and likely all in 3D. Fox co-chairman Tom Rothman states, "this film is special and different, and so we didn't want to give people the same-old, same-old." They're shaking it up, showing scenes of "the dramatic sinking of a cargo ship loaded with zoo animals and a moment when the boy and tiger encounter a school of flying fish," which are the same scenes that we saw at CinemaCon a few months ago. They are worth seeing.
The NY Times does also confirm that there will indeed be a "standard trailer" closer to its actual November release, so likely in the fall or at the end of the summer, since film is opening on Thanksgiving week in the US. Rothman confirms that it was the buzz from the CinemaCon presentation that made them consider this unique marketing idea. "Exhibitors drove the idea… They said, 'You want to convey the idea that this movie is very specifically a cinematic experience? Just show people what you just showed us.'" Indeed, I will admit what we saw looked amazing in 3D, but I wanted to see more from it (which is why I started reading the book). Then again, that just means I'm anxious to see how the entire film is envisioned, but I'll have to wait.
While I'm excited to see how Ang Lee's Life of Pi looks, I'm even more curious to see how audiences react to it, and if they soak up the 3D spectacle of Ang Lee's magical adaptation, or if they reject it and complain until it gains more traction in the fall. I'll be in theaters to see Prometheus at midnight and will likely report back on how the audience responses plus my thoughts. Anyone interested in seeing these previews?