Casting Call: Tobey Maguire Joins Ang Lee’s LIFE OF PI; Willem Dafoe in Talks for Stephen Sommers’ ODD THOMAS

     April 8, 2011

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We’ve got a couple of casting stories for you today, both involving adaptations of books. First up, Variety reports that Tobey Maguire is re-teaming with director Ang Lee for his adaptation of Yann Martel’s Life of Pi. The story centers on a boy named Pi who gets stranded for 227 days with a tiger. Maguire will play the man who interviews the adult Pi about his experience. The cast for the 3D film now includes newcomer Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan (In Treatment), Adil Hussain (Calendar Girls), and Gerard Depardieu. The film is slated for a December 14th, 2012 release.

Additionally, Willem Dafoe is in talks to join director Stephen Sommers’ (The Mummy) adaptation of the Dean Koontz supernatural thriller Odd Thomas. The film centers on a short-order cook who can commune with the dead. Heat Vision reports that Dafoe is in talks to play a local police chief. Anton Yelchin and Addison Timlin are poised to star in the film. Shooting is set to start in New Mexico later this spring. Hit the jump for a synopsis of both Life of Pi and Odd Thomas.

life_of_pi_book_cover_01Here’s the synopsis for Life of Pi:

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true? [Amazon]

odd-thomas-book-cover-01Here’s the synopsis for Odd Thomas:

“The dead don’t talk. I don’t know why.” But they do try to communicate, with a short-order cook in a small desert town serving as their reluctant confidant. Odd Thomas thinks of himself as an ordinary guy, if possessed of a certain measure of talent at the Pico Mundo Grill and rapturously in love with the most beautiful girl in the world, Stormy Llewellyn. Maybe he has a gift, maybe it’s a curse, Odd has never been sure, but he tries to do his best by the silent souls who seek him out.  Sometimes they want justice, and Odd’s otherworldly tips to Pico Mundo’s sympathetic police chief, Wyatt Porter, can solve a crime. Occasionally they can prevent one. But this time it’s different.

A mysterious man comes to town with a voracious appetite, a filing cabinet stuffed with information on the world’s worst killers, and a pack of hyena-like shades following him wherever he goes. Who the man is and what he wants, not even Odd’s deceased informants can tell him. His most ominous clue is a page ripped from a day-by-day calendar for August 15.

Today is August 14.

In less than twenty-four hours, Pico Mundo will awaken to a day of catastrophe. As evil coils under the searing desert sun, Odd travels through the shifting prisms of his world, struggling to avert a looming cataclysm with the aid of his soul mate and an unlikely community of allies that includes the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll. His account of two shattering days when past and present, fate and destiny converge is the stuff of our worst nightmares—and a testament by which to live: sanely if not safely, with courage, humor, and a full heart that even in the darkness must persevere. [Amazon]

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