Ang Lee to proceed with movie "Life of Pi" - a survival story of an Indian shipwrecked boy

Oscar winner Ang Lee (Brokeback Mountain) has made up his mind to go ahead with directing Yann Martel’s fantasy bestseller “Life of Pi” about a boy from Pondicherry (India) who survives 227 days after shipwreck, according to reports.

In the past, Lee was quoted as saying: “It’s a very strong story, but it’s hard to crack.”

Acclaimed Indo-American statesman Rajan Zed, welcoming the film adaptation of this India influenced story, urged Lee to handle the Pi’s spirituality exploration and holistic edge with cultural sensitivity.

Expected to be released in 2011, 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, female orangutan, an injured zebra, and a hungry Bengal tiger in Pacific Ocean on his voyage from India to Canada. It has sold well over one million copies and was a global publishing phenomenon. Keith Robinson adapted it into a play and toured England.

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) have reportedly already dropped this project after preliminary exploration. This Fox 2000 high profile film adaptation will be produced by Gil Netter (Personal Effects).

Lee claims to have cracked the structure of the movie and is gearing up to kick off production. He has reportedly finished first draft of the screenplay. Adapting this book for the screen was said to be a difficult task. No casting has taken place yet, reports suggest.
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