An adaptation of Yann Martel’s acclaimed novel Life of Pi has been in development for years now, but it seemed like its cinematic reality was imminent. Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) was on board to direct to the would-be 3D picture with an allotted $70 million budget, and persistent producer Elizabeth Gabler was targeting an August shoot for a 2012 release.
And yet, 24 Frames reports that it appears the project has been put on hold. Until Lee and producer Gil Netter can find a way to come up with a lower number, the adaptation will not move forward at the current budget.
Sustained by Gabler’s passion for the project, Pi has attracted an array of notable suitors over the years: M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet have all been attached at some point to depict the tale of a teenage boy stranded at sea with a Bengal tiger. Hit the jump for a full plot synopsis.
In February 2009, we reported that Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) wanted to direct an adaptation of the Booker Prize-winning novel Life of Pi. The project had already passed through multiple directors including Dean Georgaris, M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuaron, and Jean-Pierre Jeneut. Then in October, we reported that Lee said Life of Pi would be his next film. Today, Indiewire reports that the project is now scouting locations Taiwan and Pondicherry, will be a big-budget film with a price tag of over $70 million, and will be a “3D magical fantasy adfventure crammed with visual effects.” This would be Lee’s first 3D film.
Life of Pi, in short, is about a child who shares a lifeboat with a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan and a hungry Bengal tiger. Hit the jump to read the official synopsis of the book and you’ll wonder how screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland) has managed to crack the script. Producer Elizabeth Gabler wants to begin filming this August for a 2012 release, but Fox hasn’t made a decision on whether to give the film the green light.