Much of the reason it took roughly a decade to bring the award-winning 2001 novel Life of Pi to the screen can be boiled down to the question: How do you make an Indian teenage boy stuck in a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger for 227 days into a compelling film? Well, first, you hire Ang Lee to make it, and judging from this first look at the film, the Oscar-winning director of Brokeback Mountain and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon has brought his signature striking visual style to the production:
The actor with that roaring Bengal tiger is 17-year-old unknown Indian student Suraj Sharma, who won the role of the titular Pi over 3,000 other prospective actors. Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, A Mighty Heart) plays Pi as an adult, who tells his tale to interviewer Yann Martel (Tobey Maguire in the film, and the name of the author of the book). The 3-D film is set to hit theaters Dec. 21, 2012.