indieWIRE‘s Anne Thompson has a status report on Ang Lee’s adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestselling novel Life of Pi, which is looking to be greenlit by 20th Century Fox after the rights were picked up by Fox 2000 seven years ago.
Having gone through numerous previous filmmakers including M. Night Shyamalan, Alfonson Cuaon and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Amelie), the popular novel about a boy adrift in a liferaft in the Pacific with a Bengal tiger and other animals has been in development hell for years. In fact, Ang Lee was announced to direct the project over a year ago with little reported since then.
According to Thompson, Lee co-producer Gil Netter have been scouting locations in Thailand and Pondicherry, Southern India, for the $70 million plus production, which they hope to start shooting in August for a 2012 release once the film is greenlit, a decision that should be made this month. Lee is hoping to turn the novel into a “3D magical fantasy adventure crammed with visual effects” and from Thompson’s description, it will feature a lot of CG animals.
You can read Thompson’s full assessment and progress report on the movie over at indieWIRE.