of Pi is a 2012 US live-action and computer-animated adventure drama
film based on Yann Martel's 2001 novel of the same name. Directed by Ang
Lee, the film is based on an adapted screenplay by David Magee, and stars
Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Gérard Depardieu, Tabu, and Adil Hussain.
The storyline revolves around a 16-year old Indian boy named Piscine Molitor
"Pi" Patel, who survives a shipwreck in which his family dies.
Pi is stranded in the Pacific Ocean on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger
named Richard Parker.
The film had its worldwide premiere as the opening film of the 50th New
York Film Festival at both the Walter Reade Theatre and Alice Tully Hall
in New York City on 28 September 2012.
Upon release, Life of Pi became a critical and commercial success,
earning over $600 million worldwide. At the 85th Academy Awards it had
eleven nominations, including Best Picture, and won four (the most for
the evening) including Best Director for Ang Lee. It won three BAFTAs
at the 66th British Academy Film Awards. Life of Pi was also
nominated for three Golden Globe Awards which included Best Picture –
Drama and the Best Director and won the Golden Globe Award for Best Original
of the Film
Life of Pi is directed by Ang Lee and based on a screenplay
by David Magee. The screenplay is adapted from the 2001 novel of
the same name written by Yann Martel.
Lee, the project had numerous directors and writers attached, and
the Los Angeles Times credited Fox 2000 Pictures executive Elizabeth
Gabler with keeping the project active. In February 2003, Gabler
had acquired the project to adapt Life of Pi into a film. She hired
the screenwriter Dean Georgaris to write an adapted screenplay.
the following October, Fox 2000 announced a partnership with M.
Night Shyamalan to direct the film. Shyamalan was attracted to the
novel particularly because its protagonist also comes from Pondicherry
in India. The partners anticipated that Shyamalan would direct the
film adaptation after completing The Village. Shyamalan
also replaced Georgaris as the screenwriter, writing a new screenplay
for the film. Ultimately, Shyamalan chose to film Lady in the
Water after The Village, and Fox 2000 Pictures decided
to find another director.
March 2005, they entered talks with Alfonso Cuarón to become
the director. Shyamalan said in 2006, "I was hesitant [to direct]
because the book has kind of a twist ending. And I was concerned
that as soon as you put my name on it, everybody would have a different
Cuarón decided to direct Children of Men instead,
and in October 2005, Fox 2000 Pictures hired Jean-Pierre Jeunet
to direct the film. Jeunet began writing the adapted screenplay
with Guillaume Laurant, and filming was scheduled to begin in mid-2006,
partially in India.
eventually left the project, and in February 2009, Fox 2000 Pictures
hired Ang Lee to direct the film. In May 2010, Lee and the producer
Gil Netter proposed a reported budget of $120 million, at which
the studio baulked, placing the project's development on hold for
a short time.David Magee was hired to write the screenplay, as Lee
began to spend several months looking for someone to cast as Pi.
the premiere of the film, Lee stated that his desire to take risks
and chances helped with his direction, saying "In a strange
way it did feel like we're the vessels, we have to surrender to
movie god. We have to let things happen. I just had this feeling,
I'll follow this kid to wherever this movie takes me. I saw the
movie start to unravel in front of me."
• Piscine Molitor
Gautam Belur as Pi, age 6
Ayush Tandon as Pi, age 13
Suraj Sharma as Pi, age 16
Irrfan Khan as Pi, adult
• Tabu as Gita
Patel, Pi's mother
• Adil Hussain
as Santosh Patel, Pi's father
• Ravi Patel,
Pi's older brother:
Ayan Khan as Ravi, age 7
Mohamed Abbas Khaleeli as Ravi, age 15
Vibish Sivakumar as Ravi, age 18
Depardieu as the Cook
• Po-Chieh Wang
as the Sailor
• Rafe Spall as
the Writer (Yann Martel)
• Shravanthi Sainath
as Anandi, Pi's teenage girlfriend