I don’t know if there’s a modern book that I did not get as much as I did not get Life of Pi. The book’s apparently a classic, a wonderful tale about a boy and a tiger who are trapped on a lifeboat together. It’s supposed to be this whole thing about God and about storytelling and all that, but it just didn’t work for me. I actually hated all that stuff, and despised the ending of the book.
What’s worse is that the book seems unfilmable in the sense that it wouldn’t be all the interesting of a movie. There’s not much going on in the pages of this book, outside the narrator telling you about the day to day life of a dude trapped on a lifeboat with a big tiger. Which in and of itself makes good reading, but I can’t imagine that it would work as a movie.
But this wouldn’t be the first time I would be wrong about what can be made into a movie. I never thought that Bionicle would have worked as a film – let alone a blockbuster franchise. And so Life of Pi is becoming a movie.
Originally M Night Shyamalan was going to direct it, and the thing even has sort of a twist ending, which would fit his style (although my Warner Bros rep swears up and down that his new one has no twist), and it’s about Indian people, which would be a nice change of pace for this Indian director who keeps making film about crackers. But he bowed out. Alfonse Cuaron was next supposed to helm the film, but I have no idea what happened to him and he’s out of the project.
Now Jean-Pierre Jeunet is going to direct the film. Here’s a funny thing about Jeunet – I feel like everyone blames Joss Whedon for Alien Resurrection and no one blames Jeunet. It’s like David Fincher and Alien Cubed. If a movie doesn’t work, there has to be some blame put on the director (and I don’t care what sort of hassle Fincher had from the studio – the annals of great film are filled with movies that were horrorshows on set), yet Jeunet emerged from that one relatively stink free. Maybe it’s because of Amelie. By the way, remember the guy with the gimpy arm in Amelie? I ran into him at a Mexican food stand at the Los Angeles Farmer’s Market. How weird is that?
Jeunet is working on the script right now with Guillame Laurent, who collaborated with him on Amelie and A Very Long Engagement. Filming starts next year, and some shooting is expected to happen in India.