Life of Pi author Yann Martel anxious to see finished film of his book
Author Yann Martel poses in Toronto April 5, 2010. (Darren Calabrese / THE CANADIAN PRESS)
Published Friday, July 27, 2012 7:57AM EDT
SASKATOON -- A Saskatoon-based author who has already seen his novel become an international bestseller is getting ready to make headlines again.
Yann Martel's book, "the Life of Pi," has become a movie.
There are no words in the trailer that was released this week, but Martel says it's the visuals that draw people in and that's thanks to director Ang Lee, known for such varied films as "Brokeback Mountain" and "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon."
"He cares about every single aspect of the movie, so it is a visually lush movie," says Martel. "Even if it's only the ocean, which you think is a fairly spare environment, it's a visually stunning, stunning movie."
"Life of Pi" is a fantasy-adventure story of an Indian boy who spends 227 on a boat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger.
Martel says he met with Lee and had involvement with the creation of the screenplay, giving detailed written feedback on more than one occasion.
He even appears in it.
"I have a small cameo in the movie, let's see if it survives the editing process, but I have a small cameo," Martel says.
He visited the set, with his parents, of the final days of the filming, when scenes were being shot in Montreal. A majority of the rest of the scenes were shot on the coast of Taiwan.
For those who think a book is always better than a movie, they might find it difficult to see their work altered to fit someone else's vision. Martel says that's not the case for him.
"I don't have a sense of ownership; I let go because a movie is very different from a book," he says. "They're just two different things. The fact is movie will deliver on visuals."
When people read, they have ideas in their minds about what people and places look like, Martel says.
"The movie will make that very concrete and extraordinarily vivid, which a book can't do, so I sort of see them as being complementary."
While Martel has an understanding of the movie and knows what some parts of it looks like, he's looking forward to the release in December.
"I'm as curious as anyone else to see it, to see what he's done with it, how he's interpreted the words on the page, the camera angle, how it all flows together. I'll be first in line," he says.
Martel came to Saskatoon as a writer in residence at the University of Saskatchewan. Currently he's working on another book, a novel in three parts.