‘Life of Pi’ Trailer: Ang Lee Brings Yann Martel’s Novel to Breath-Taking Life

Published 2 years ago by

Fox has released an official trailer for Life of Pi, a film treatment of Yann Martel’s award-winning novel that was shot in 3D and directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain). It arrives some two months after clips from the movie began showing in theaters, in front of 3D screenings for Prometheus.

The preview dives (literally) right into the genesis for protagonist Piscine ‘Pi’ Patel’s (Suraj Sharma) ethereal journey into adulthood. We glimpse the shipwreck that separates Pi from his family – who are moving their zoo overseas - and leaves him stranded in the ocean, with naught but a few surviving animals for company – including a tempestuous Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

It’s a hauntingly beautiful spectacle, made all the more goosebump-inducing by the immersive cinematography provided by Oscar-nominee Claudio Miranda (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, TRON Legacy).

The theatrical promo for Life of Pi only becomes more beautiful from thereon out, as viewers are bombarded with simply breath-taking imagery from Pi’s fantastical experiences while isolated at sea. The young man encounters soaring armadas of fish, massive whales caressing the ocean surface, and an island unspoiled by humanity that resembles something from a dream (or, possibly, a nightmare).

life pi trailer Life of Pi Trailer: Ang Lee Brings Yann Martels Novel to Breath Taking Life

Pi encounters a whale in 'Life of Pi'

Martel’s source novel explores issues of spirituality, faith, and practicality through not only Pi’s surreal story of survival, but also the unique mindset of its protagonist (who adheres to the Christian, Hindu, and Muslim religions). Of course, it remains to be seen how well screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland) translates the narrative and thematic elements found in Martel’s book.

Lee’s Life of Pi movie certainly has the makings of a masterpiece, as far as visual splendor goes. The cast is small, but includes Irrfan Khan (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Oscar-nominee Gérard Depardieu (Hamlet). Moreover, Sharma stands to start his acting career with a bang – if he succeeds at carrying the film, being the only human onscreen for extended periods of time.

Life of Pi opens in US theaters (2D and 3D) on November 21st, 2012.

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Source: iTunes Movie Trailers

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  1. Loved the book. I wouldn’t ever need to see a movie version. I doubt any movie could ever equal the reading experience (as is often the case). The kid, Pi, looks older and better fed than I imagined (but I haven’t seen the whole movie yet).

    All that said, there is no other director I can imagine who could possibly bring this to film. I think Tobey McGuire is a great actor too (he’ll be the interviewer/narrator I imagine). So, I’m looking forward to this.

  2. What Wet Dreams May Come?

    • Bsically…and the moral of the story is read the novels, don’t attempt to make movies out of them.

  3. This is some pretty incredible visual effects here.

  4. The preview of this that played before ‘Prometheus’ (or may have been ‘John Carter’) was phenomenal. The CGI and the 3D was incredibly sharp. Yet no one mentioned it. I’m looking forward to this one.

  5. I don’t like the approach that I see being taken to this movie, it feels like a manufactured epic, and the book is not epic, it is very understated. It feels like a James Cameron movie

    • I see what you mean, but it’s a preview. I’m glad Ang Lee is doing this.

      The book did have action, and lots of flashbacks. And Pi did see extraordinary things at sea. But I’m sure it will be quiet and personal too.

      I am glad I read the book before seeing this trailer just because Pi looked different to me, although I guess Richard Parker looks about right.

      Now I want to read it again.

    • BTW Gooch. Have you seen very many Ang Lee movies? Check out Ice Storm (which has some fun Fantastic Four references), or Eat Drink Man Woman, as well as any other.

  6. Irrfan Khan worked with Peter Parker’s father “Richard Parker” on Amazing Spider Man, Pi is on a raft with a tiger named RICHARD PARKER

    • Coincidence? I don’t think so!

    • Hadn’t thought of that. But I was thinking about how Irrfan Khan is in the new Spider-man series, Tobey Mcguire was in the first, and Ang Lee directed the first Hulk movie. That’s a lot of Marvelousness.

    • Yes, Eddie! :D The “Richard Parker” coincidence is funny, I think. The Spiderman RP has a life focused on genetic transmutation; the Pi RP is possibly an element of mental/emotional/spiritual transmutation. The Spiderman RP is challenged by a character played by Irrfan Khan; the Pi RP is challenged by a character played later in life by Irrfan Khan. There are many parallels and coincidences. I knew I wasn’t the only one to catch that.

      Also: Marvel….Martel. Coincidence? Ha!

  7. This looks visually amazing, yet very quiet. I think this could work! :-) (I haven’t read the book but it sound interesting.) Color me interested.

  8. Ang Lee? Automatic no.

    • Automatic no ???!!! Why?

  9. I’m sorry, but it bothers me when Things look fake. The CGI style used is just on the edge of fanciful and real and it makes it hard to buy into the world presented.

  10. I remember hearing about a movie version of this as far back as 2004 (or ’05? ’06?) and Shyamalan was attached to it. I guess it finally got out of development hell.

  11. It makes me stronger n stronger in my faith n d beautiful Wow @sea scenes luv d beautiful face of Richard Parker!

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