The Plot: Director Ang Lee transforms the acclaimed 2001 book into a 3D adventure about an Indian boy (Suraj Sharma), who survives a shipwreck carrying zoo animals. Taking off on a lifeboat, he makes friends with these otherwise fearsome mammals.
The Buzz: A number of directors flirted with this project before Lee came on board. Once in production, Lee hired his old Ride With the Devil star Tobey Maguire to play Yann Martel, the novelist who wrote the novel and appears as a character in this film. Then, desiring a fully international cast, Lee created some off-screen drama by replacing Maguire with actor Rafe Spall. That Maguire was interested in this reported $100 million film, and that two actors were essentially jockeying for the same role, should stoke curiosity.