Ang Lee's Life of Pi moves forward now with a budget in place and a lead cast

When we last heard about director Ang Lee's LIFE OF PI, Fox had put the film on hold because it was simply going to cost too much (reportedly in the $70 million range). But now, it appears that the film is back on track as Lee has worked out a new budget as well as cast his lead actor, newcomer Suraj Sharma.

USA TODAY reports that while the film's final budget tally remains undisclosed, it is something north of $50 million which Fox has agreed to back. The film will be shot in 3D, something that Lee feels is a necessity:

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

"The ocean is perfect for 3-D. I think it will change the way people experience the sea."

LIFE OF PI, based on the 2001 book by Yann Martel, tells the tale of 'Pi', an Indian boy who survives 227 days after a shipwreck while stranded on a 26-foot lifeboat in the Pacific Ocean with a Bengal tiger, a zebra, a hyena, and an orangutan. As mentioned, Suraj Sharma, a 17-year old Deli high school student whose only acting experience was in a school play, has been picked by Lee to play the title role. He was one of three thousand teenage boys who auditioned for the part.

"He read one complex scene, and by the end he was crying," Lee says. "We all were."
Extra Tidbit: Still need to watch Lee's LUST, CAUTION. Tony Leung's one of my favorite actors.



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