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I read Yann Martel's novel Life of Pi about eight years ago and admit I don't remember it that well, but my salient memories are definitely about a young boy cast away at sea on a boat that also houses a Bengal tiger. With that in mind I can't quite figure out how the film version, which Ang Lee will direct, has already managed to include Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Adil Hussain and Tabu in the cast, along with newcomer Suraj Sharma to play Pi.

Now the biggest name of all has joined the cast, and I'm even more confused. According to Variety Tobey Maguire is on board to play a journalist who interviews the adult Pi (Khan's role) about his remarkable experiences on the boat. Given that the adult Pi section seems to mostly serve as a frame story it doesn't seem like Maguire's role will be particularly big, but it will reunite him with his Ice Storm director Lee, which may be part of the appeal.

For whatever reason Life of Pi will be shot in 3D, and it's set for a December 14 release this year. WIth the Sundance comedy The Details coming later this year, and the Baz Luhrmann-directed Great Gatsby still on the horizon, Maguire will be fairly busy in the coming months, a stark contrast to his recent post-Spider-Man years in which his only major screen credit was in 2009's Brothers. It's been long enough since Spider-Man 3 to forgive him-- not that the movie's problems were ever his fault to begin with-- and I'll be glad to have Maguire back onscreen where he belongs.

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