We’re used to reporting on 3D filmmaking in relation to the latest money-spinning genre sequel, so the announcement that Fox plan to roll out the technological big guns for a whimsical literary adaptation has caught us a bit by surprise.
Fox have been sitting on the rights to Yann Martel’s Life Of Pi since 2000, with a host of big-name directors attached, all of whom have fallen by the wayside. Alfonso Cuaron, M. Night. Shyamalan and Jean-Pierre Jeunet have all come and gone, but it’s now sounding like the studio have settled on Ang Lee as the man to take things forward.
Oscar-winner Lee will produce and direct, whilst an early screenplay has been knocked together by Finding Neverland’s David Magee. So far, so logical, but then comes the curveball, as Indiewire reports Lee plans to deliver, “a 3-D magical fantasy adventure crammed with visual effects.”
Lee will supposedly have a $70 million plus budget to tell the story, involving a boy who is marooned in a lifeboat with a group of zoo animals, and according to Fox executive Elizabeth Gabler, he’ll need every penny.
“It has a gigantic visual effects component,” says Gabler, before helpfully pointing out that, “you can’t put a live tiger in a boat with a child.”
The visual plans do kind of make sense when you think about it, with the shipwreck that strands the young boy with his four-legged chum just one of a series of set-pieces that would lend themselves to the 3D treatment.
How exactly Lee will get a hold on a story that involves some tricksy parallel plot strands is anyone’s guess, but we’re excited by the idea of a more cerebral approach to cinema’s newest toy.
Fox have yet to greenlight the project, but from the sounds of it, this is the closest they’ve come since acquiring the property a decade ago. Watch this space…
Pi in the sky, or something you can see happening? Tell us!