The 3D film adaptation of the bestselling book Life of Pi by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) will be previewed in cinemas in 3D only -- and not online, it was announced in The Hollywood Reporter June 5.
Uncut 3D footage from the film will play on 3D screens in front of Ridley Scott's Prometheus, Tim Burton's Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter and the animated sequel Ice Age: Continental Drift.
Based on the bestselling book, the film features Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man), who is cast as the novelist and narrator Yann Martel. Gerard Depardieu plays The Frenchman, Suraj Sharma appears as Pi, Tabu as Pi's mother, and Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire) as the older Pi.
The coming-of-age story tells of an Indian boy named Pi, who is shipwrecked and set adrift on a lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean, in an effort to survive with a hyena, an injured zebra, an orangutan, and a hungry Bengal tiger aboard.
The strategy intends to create anticipation for the film and the special attention to the quality of the viewing experience is meant to inspire moviegoers to see the film in a 3D theater. This is especially relevant as more people opt for a home-screening experience.
With what was described as breathtaking imagery at the recent Cinema-Con conference for cinema owners, different scenes will be unveiled before each film to showcase the film's 3D effects. It is the first film of the year gathering Oscar predictions. A similar campaign by the Fox studio occurred with Avatar, which screened 15 minutes at IMAX theaters.
The screenings start this weekend.
The Life of Pi is scheduled for release on November 21 in North America -- moved up from the original Christmastime screening. It opens December 19-21 in France and other European markets including the UK and Sweden, plus Russia, Hong Kong and Singapore, then in Brazil, Germany, Australia and other Latin American markets December 25-28.