Ang Lee casts lead for Life of Pi

From DHD – It’s full steam ahead for the feature adaptation of Yann Martel’s award winning novel Life of Pi. After auditioning 3,000 teenagers for the role, director Ang Lee has found his lead -unknown 17 year old Suraj Sharma. It will be his first acting role. Production will begin on the David Magee scripted adaptation in January.

Life of Pi, the 2002 winner of the Man Booker Prize, is the story of a youth who gets stranded for 227 days in shark-infested waters aboard a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger.

Book Jacket:

The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.

The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days while lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them “the truth.” After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional–but is it more true?