Ang Lee's Life of Pi film going ahead - cultural sensitivity in handling the film recommended

After speculations since 2009, Oscar winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) has reportedly finally given the go ahead signal on film adaptation of Yann Martel’s fantasy “Life of Pi” about a boy from Pondicherry (India) who survives 227 days after shipwreck.

Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, welcoming the film adaptation of this India influenced story, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, urged Lee to handle the Pi’s spirituality exploration and holistic edge with cultural sensitivity.

Rajan Zed, who is Chairperson of Indo-American Leadership Confederation, further said that more world filmmakers should explore many finer and deeper things India offered. Planet’s most multidimensional country, fast growing economy, emerging world power, largest democracy, etc.; India has snowcapped mountains, palm-fringed and sun-washed beaches, glorious temples, colorful festivals, rich philosophy and spirituality, abundant historical sites, wildlife safaris, recharging treks, historic trade routes, cultural wealth, etc.

Expected to be released on December 14, 2012 and shot in 3D, Canadian Martel’s (Manners of Dying) Man Booker Prize and other awards winning novel is an adventure tale about 16-years old Pi Patel stranded on a lifeboat with a hyena, orangutan, an injured zebra, and a hungry Bengal tiger in Pacific Ocean on his voyage from India to Canada. It has reportedly sold millions of copies and was a global publishing phenomenon. Keith Robinson adapted it into a play and toured England.

Lee, who will direct this high profile adventure-drama, was previously quoted as saying: “It’s a very strong story, but it’s hard to crack.”

Lee has reportedly selected an unknown actor with no acting experience from Delhi, 17-year old Suraj Sharma, son of mathematician parents, to star in the movie, among about 3,000 hopefuls in a months long search. Production is likely to begin in January and the shooting will be held in India and Taiwan. David Magee will reportedly provide the screenplay of this film, which will be produced and distributed by Fox 2000 Pictures.

Oscar nominated M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense), Alfonso Cuarón (Children of Men), and Jean-Pierre Jeunet (Delicatessen); and Dean Georgaris (What Happens in Vegas) reportedly dropped this project after preliminary exploration in the past.