[Fox 2000 producer Elizabeth] Gabler and the filmmakers are lining up a big budget well north of $70 million for a 3-D magical fantasy adventure crammed with visual effects. There’s a shipwreck, the ship sinks, and a teenage boy is launched overboard and climbs into a life raft with a zebra, hyena, and a tiger. There are many CG animals (whales, fish, meercats) plus ocean and atmosphere. It has a gigantic visual effects component, says Gabler. You can’t put a live tiger in a boat with a child. It has elements of Castaway, when the kid is alone in the boat. You don’t need language to convey what’s on the screen. We need to make the movie for the whole world.
Hollywood producers don’t tend to invest $70 million in a movie without having some marquee names tied to it, and since the lead is a young Indian boy, should we anticipate Morgan Freeman and Ben Stiller and others as talking animals?