Ang Lee’s next project, Life of Pi has been casting over the past few weeks. Its most recent additions include Irrfan Khan (In Treatment), Adil Hussain (Calendar Girls), and Gerard Depardieu (La Vie en Rose). The film, based on the novel by Yann Martel, is about a young boy who is stranded at sea in a lifeboat with a hyena, an orangutan, a zebra, and a tiger. According to Variety, Khan will play the adult version of the lead character Pi, while Hussain will play Pi’s father, a zookeeper. Depardieu will play the part of the chef on the ship which they are traveling on. Though Depardieu is most known for playing Cyrano in Cyrano de Bergerac, I loved him in my childhood for his villainous role of Jean-Pierre in 102 Dalmations. Currently, the Bollywood actress Tabu (The Namesake), is being spoken to about playing Pi’s mother. Lee recently made an interesting choice in hiring newcomer Suraj Sharma as Pi, who will have only a tiger to share the screen with for two-thirds of the film.
For more on this film, as well as a synopsis, continue after the jump:
David Magee’s script is adapted from one of the most beautifully well-written novels in the past ten years. Ang Lee alone choosing it to be his next film makes it a must see. But what is really attention-grabbing is the fact that he is choosing to film it in 3D. This is definitely not the type of story that one would immediately place in the “should be made in 3D” category. So, seeing how he accomplishes it is worth all the wait for the December 14, 2012 release date.
A description of Life of Pi, via Amazon:
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?