‘Life of Pi’ Clip: When Fish Attack

A cinematic adaptation of Life of Pi has been in the works basically since Yann Martel‘s novel was published in 2001, but in the early stages the project had some trouble picking up steam. It passed through the hands of several directors, including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet, over several years before finally landing with Ang Lee in 2008.

Now, after four years of hard work, Lee’s movie is finally on the verge of hitting theaters. One of the film’s strongest selling points is its incredible use of 3D, but it’s tough to get that third dimension across on a computer screen. So in this first clip, Fox’s marketing team settles for unveiling a scene where it’s obvious things would be flying at your face if you were in a theater. Watch the scene, with an introduction by Lee, after the jump.

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If 3D gets a bad rap, it’s often for good reason. Done badly, 3D drives up ticket prices while adding nothing to the experience; done very badly, it robs you blind while destroying the picture. But every so often, a movie comes along that reminds you of how powerful the technology can be when wielded by a master craftsman. Ang Lee‘s stunning, vibrant Life of Pi is one of those cases.

After receiving strong early buzz thanks to some alluring clips and teasers, Life of Pi had its world premiere at the New York Film Festival this week. Lee cautioned us ahead of time that he was still putting the final touches on the movie, so the version that hits theaters may differ slightly from the one we saw. But whether he makes a few last tweaks or not, it’s clear that Life of Pi will be a worthwhile cinematic experience.

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The year-end prestige movie season looks possibly even more competitive than usual this year, but Fox seems pretty confident they’ve got a four-quadrant hit in Life of Pi. Though the project suffered several stops and starts during its development process, it’s finally taken shape under the care of director Ang Lee, and the early buzz is that the results are eye-popping and crowd-pleasing. (As well as, Fox no doubt hopes, award-winning.)

The new trailer isn’t our first look at the film — we’ve already seen a brief clip and previewed certain scenes — but it gives us the best look yet at the epic scope and storybook feel of the movie. And so far, it seems the praise is entirely justified. Check out the video after the jump.

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Fox’s official website for Ang Lee‘s literary adaptation Life of Pi is up and running, and while it’s currently light on useful info, it is full of gorgeous imagery to ooh and ahh over. There’s a brief 10-second clip showing what appears to be an early encounter between protagonist Pi (newcomer Suraj Sharma) and the tiger Richard Parker, with whom Pi gets stranded at sea after a shipwreck. Plus, the site features a series of stunning banners. Hit the jump to see more.

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First Look: Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’

Life of Pi has taken its good sweet time journeying from the bookshelf to the box office. First published in 2001, Yann Martel‘s novel passed through the hands of M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonso Cuarón, and Jean-Pierre Jeunet before ultimately ending up with Ang Lee in 2009. A tricky adaptation process and budgetary woes helped keep the film in development hell a few years longer, but Lee struggled through and at long last, we finally have our first little peek at the new movie. Hit the jump for a still.

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‘Life of Pi’ Gets a New Release Date

Briefly: Now that Peter Jackson’s next film, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, has a firm release date of December 14, 2012, it is time for other studios to start reworking their December schedules to get out of the way of the Middle-Earth juggernaut. The first project to scramble out of the way is Life of Pi, Ang Lee‘s adaptation of Yann Martel‘s novel. Fox has just moved the film to December 21, 2012, which is still a pretty damn good date for the film.

The project has taken a long time to come together, with several directors trying to get the adaptation going. It is finally moving forward as Ang Lee was able to come up with a plan to make a 3D film that met with Fox’s approval. Suraj Sharma, a high schooler from Delhi and newcomer to acting, has been cast as the film’s title character Pi Patel — the teen who, after a shipwreck, is left floating in the middle of the sea in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger, zebra, hyena and orangutan. Gerard Depardieu will play Chef, a pivotal character; Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-Man) will play the adult Pi; and Adil Hussain will play Pi’s father. Bollywood star Tabu will play Pi’s mother. Tobey Maguire will play a journalist who interviews Pi about his experience. [THR]

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