Ang Lee’s “Life of Pi” chooses locations, lures a young star

By Sean O’Connell We have been receiving a number of updates regarding Ang Lee’s planned adaptation of “Life of Pi,” Yann Martel’s prize-winning fantasy adventure about an Indian boy stranded on a raft with a Bengal tiger.

Newcomer Suraj Sharma, 17, won the coveted lead role in the production, beating a reported 3,000 candidates, according to the AP.

“There is no dialogue, and he is not Tom Hanks,” Lee said of his young protaginist. “The film is about humankind’s spiritual pursuit, and he must have an appealing temperament.”

Now we’re learning that Lee has chosen locations in India and Taiwan for his shoot, which will begin in January.

But how does Lee plan to attack a story that’s largely set at sea with one human character and one tiger? Advances in film technology seem to have inspired the groundbreaking director of “Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon” and “Hulk.” And he’s going to lean on one controversial visual tool to breathe life into Martel’s story.

“I have not seen any good movies about water,” Lee said. “Then I realized 3D could be a way to break the dilemma.”

“Life of Pi” is expected to be out in 2011, though with a January start, expect and end-of-year release, most likely in time for Oscar consideration.

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