Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' to go deep next year, in 3-D
Most of the movies Hollywood plans to release in 3-D in 2012 share similar subject matter -- superheroes, aliens, superheroes battling aliens. But "Life of Pi," Ang Lee's adaptation of the bestselling spiritual book about a boy stranded alone on a boat with a tiger, will be one of the first largely character-driven movies to test the format, according to Fox Filmed Entertainment Chairman and CEO Tom Rothman, who spoke to an audience of video game, visual effects and other entertainment industry professionals at the 3D Entertainment Summit in Hollywood on Wednesday.
"This book is hard to imagine as a movie," Rothman said of "Life of Pi," which Lee began shooting early this year in Taiwan and India with first-time actor Suraj Sharma as Pi. "It's got two characters, one a young Indian boy and the other a tiger. There's also a boat. And a lot of water. And that is basically it."
Rothman said of the approximately 35 3-D Hollywood movies due in 2012, "most of that quantity is genre-oriented, more male driven. 'Life of Pi' is decidedly not that."
Calling the movie "a tremendous gamble" for his studio, Rothman said Lee, who won an Academy Award for directing the 2005 drama "Brokeback Mountain," "was adamant that that movie be in 3-D."
"Ang believes he can use 3-D to envelop the audience, to transport the audience on what is a very metaphysical journey," Rothman said. "It's a different language of storytelling. He's using the stereoscope to adjust the audience's relationship to that character."
The adaptation of Yann Martel's 2001 book, from a script by David Magee, will come to screens in December 2012.
Another 3-D movie in production with appeal outside the fanboy set is Baz Luhrmann's "The Great Gatsby," starring Leonardo DiCaprio, which is also due for release in 2012.
-- Rebecca Keegan