'Life of Pi' Screenplay Available For Your Consideration

As the days wind down to the official balloting for the Academy Awards, the last holdouts for putting their award-contending screenplays online for your consideration are finally making their moves. Of course, voting members most likely received their copies of these screenplays to consider privately months ago. For the rest of us unwashed masses, 20th Century Fox has finally posted David Magee's adaptation of Yann Martel's best-selling novel Life of Pi online for free and legal download.

First, here's the trailer for Life of Pi to refresh your memory:

Video is no longer available: youtu.be/mX2HBsHbNZM

For anyone who has read the novel, you know that adapting a story where a majority of the action takes place at sea with the protagonist stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger seems like an impossible task. As such, the screenplay by David Magee (Finding Neverland, Miss Pettigrew Lives for a Day) offers several insights into how one can approach such seemingly impossible adaptations. Not surprisingly, without two humans to carry on conversations throughout the bulk of the film, the screenplay is a mere 74 pages -- for a film that clocks in at 126 minutes.

Here's a link to the screenplay to download:

  • Life of Pi, screenplay by David Magee, based on the novel by Yann Martel

As always, please use this screenplay for your educational purposes only, and don't wait to download the screenplay as we don't know when it will be taken offline.

In case you've missed previous screenplays available for download for your consideration this awards season, check out our previous posts below (which include nine of the ten screenplays nominated for the Oscar - sorry, no Zero Dark Thirty).

What lessons do you take away from Magee's screenplay, which shifts to mostly blocks of action at the end of the first act? Share with us in the Comments.

Links: 20th Century Fox Screenings - Life of Pi

Your Comment


Thanks Christopher. I'm always interested to see how screenwriters deal with creating drama when faced with problems like very restricted locations and characters that don't (or can't) talk. There are some really great Hitchcock films which take place in virtually one location: Lifeboat, Dial M for Murder and Rear Window.
I wonder what the biggest disparity in screenplay length to film time is? Apparently the screenplay for Nicolas Roeg's Walkabout was only 15 pages long but I've never been able to track down Edward Bond's actual screenplay.

January 24, 2013 at 11:00PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


Not surprisingly, dialogue eats up a lot of pages in screenplays. As another point of reference, the script for The Artist is just over 41 pages long, including title cards, but the film runs 100 minutes.

January 25, 2013 at 8:46AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM

Christopher Boone

Thank you very much for publish this links. They are very helpful. Keep on the good work.

January 27, 2013 at 7:50AM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM


This post is incredible. This website is incredible. Thank you guys for sharing so much light on this way of filmmaking. My special congrats to Chris Boone (I totally agree with your opinion regarding screenplays' lenght and with the "6 things to..." article) and also to Ryan Koo (best of lucks with MANCHILD). You guys are really generous sharing all your ideas in here.

You guys rock!
Cheers from Mexico.

January 27, 2013 at 9:41PM, Edited September 4, 8:21AM