This summer it was announced that Brad Pitt and director Darren Aronofsky will team for an adaptation of The Tiger, the non-fiction book by John Vaillant which tracks the struggle to trap a man-eating tiger on the loose. Guillermo Arriaga (Babel) is the man tasked with adapting the story into a thriller, and indicated in a recent interview that Angelina Jolie has boarded the project, which is set to begin filming next year. More after the jump:
The interview in question is with Mexican site Quién [via The Playlist], so there could be something lost in the translation. But it is suggested that Jolie is involved with the project. According to the product description for the book, there are three main characters: “Vladimir Markov, a poacher killed by the tiger; Yuri Trush, the lead tracker; and the tiger himself.” All male characters. Except for maybe the tiger, who I suppose could be a female. (And if Jolie plays the titular character in The Tiger, I imagine I would watch that on a neverending loop.)
Of course, Jolie has been known to lure filmmakers into swapping the gender of a character. Or maybe she’ll fill a smaller role. Or maybe she’s just producing. Or maybe she’s not really involved with the project at all. At this stage, I’d bet on that last option. She does, after all, have her directorial debut to worry about.
Arriaga will scout for locations in Siberia this November, with plans to start shooting next year. Aronofsky reportedly has offers on the table for Tales of the Gangster Squad and Wolverine 2 and an eye on comic adaptation Preacher after he lost the Superman reboot to Zack Snyder. The Wolverine and Preacher rumors suggest Aronofsky is itching to make a comic book movie, though neither really grabs my attention without Aronofsky (or an equivalent talent) attached. Gangster Squad and The Tiger, on the other hand, are independently interesting. If Aronofsky were to seek my counsel, I would suggest he choose between these for his next project. What would you like to see Aronofsky do as a follow-up to Black Swan?
The synopsis for The Tiger: A True Story of Vengeance and Survival:
It’s December 1997, and a man-eating tiger is on the prowl outside a remote village in Russia’s Far East. The tiger isn’t just killing people, it’s annihilating them, and a team of men and their dogs must hunt it on foot through the forest in the brutal cold. As the trackers sift through the gruesome remains of the victims, they discover that these attacks aren’t random: the tiger is apparently engaged in a vendetta. Injured, starving, and extremely dangerous, the tiger must be found before it strikes again.
As he re-creates these extraordinary events, John Vaillant gives us an unforgettable portrait of this spectacularly beautiful and mysterious region. We meet the native tribes who for centuries have worshipped and lived alongside tigers, even sharing their kills with them. We witness the arrival of Russian settlers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, soldiers and hunters who greatly diminished the tiger populations. And we come to know their descendants, who, crushed by poverty, have turned to poaching and further upset the natural balance of the region.
This ancient, tenuous relationship between man and predator is at the very heart of this remarkable book. Throughout we encounter surprising theories of how humans and tigers may have evolved to coexist, how we may have developed as scavengers rather than hunters, and how early Homo sapiens may have fit seamlessly into the tiger’s ecosystem. Above all, we come to understand the endangered Siberian tiger, a highly intelligent super-predator that can grow to ten feet long, weigh more than six hundred pounds, and range daily over vast territories of forest and mountain. [Amazon]
Favorite line with altered formatting: “This tiger isn’t just killing people — it’s annihilating them!” That’d be a helluva tagline.