Delhi boy gets lead role in Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi!'

Suraj, who lives with his Mathematician parents in Delhi and has no previous acting experience, will play the protagonist Pi Patel in the movie, based on Yann Martel's Booker Prize-winning book of the same name.

"Casting the sixteen-year old Pi was particularly challenging. We searched throughout India for a young man who had the innocence to capture our attention, the depth of character to break our hearts, and the physicality needed to embody Pi on his journey," Lee said in a statement.

"Suraj is Pi. During his audition, he filled the room with emotion, much of which he conveyed simply through his eyes. His natural ability to believe and stay in the world of the story is a rare treasure," the director added.

Martel's story revolves around the victim of a shipwreck, Pi Patel, who spend months on the sea in a lifeboat in the company of a Bengal tiger, an orangutan and a hyena.
Lee, best known for his Oscar-winning work 'Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon' and adaptation of 'Sense and Sensibility', will shoot the film in 3D, utilizing groundbreaking techniques to capture the story's epic scope.

"It has been a daunting and exciting process to develop a motion picture that brings Yann Martel's fascinating, mind-boggling story to the big screen," Lee said.

Vijay Singh, CEO, Fox Star Studios India said, "We are hugely excited that Ang is adapting the international best -seller 'Life of PI'. The fact that it will project Indian talent on the Global platform makes it doubly special."

The film will begin production in January 2011 in India and Taiwan. Twentieth Century Fox will release the film on December 14, 2012.

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