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Ang Lee gets Life Of Pi lead

Life Of Pi

Ang Lee has cast unknown Delhi high schooler Suraj Sharma in his 3D adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel Life Of Pi .

The Brokeback Mountain director, whose last film was 2009’s Taking Woodstock , announced that Sharma will make his on-screen debut as Pi Patel, a teenager who is stranded on a lifeboat with a zebra, hyena, tiger and orang-utan.

Lee has been working on the film since last year, having taken the reins after both M. Night Shyamalan and Alfonso Cuarón showed fleeting interest in the project - “we had to figure out how to make a movie about surviving on the ocean without Tom Hanks,” he jokes to USA Today .

The newspaper reports that Lee will be working with a budget of above $50m, and is excited at the prospect of using 3D as a storytelling device – in particular with regard to the ocean, saying “I think it will change the way people experience the sea”.

“It's expensive to shoot in 3D,” Lee adds. “I know it's a great burden on me, but the story kept haunting me, and 3D was the way for me to crack the book.”

Expect 3D re-releases of Brokeback, Lust, Caution and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon to get the fast track if this does well…