First Look At The Life Of Pi

Ang Lee talks his tiger feat

Since he became the man to finally get the long-developing adaptation of Yann Martel’s novel Life Of Pi before cameras, Ang Lee has been hard at work wrangling animals, young actors and 3D cameras to shoot it. He showed up to this year’s CinemaCon event to talk about making the film and the challenges of shooting with 3D tech.

Pi is split into three sections chronicling the life of Piscine Molitor "Pi" Patel (Suraj Sharma). Born a Hindu, the lad begins to also follow Christianity and Islam, explaining that he simply wants to love God. Teased at school, he spends more time at his father's zoo, learning to care for animals. When he's a teenager, his family decide to relocate to Canada and set out on a freighter, only for the ship to sink, leaving him stranded in a lifeboat. He’s not alone, though: he’s in there with a hyena, a seasick orang-utan, an injured zebra and a Bengal tiger.

While the image above (courtesy of Criterion Cast’s Tumblr) shows that things - as in the book - really don't go that well for the other animals, we'll avoid exploring that further for fear of getting into very spoilery territory. The final chunk of Martel's tome has officials from the Japanese Maritime department investigating the sinking and questioning Pi about the events that followed, with different versions of events emerging.

Talking at CinemaCon (as reported by The Wrap), Lee revealed the effort he went to to get the movie made. “I’m dealing with a kid, a tiger and water, so the learning curve is enormous.” Not to mention using the large, still-unwieldy 3D cameras. “It’s like operating a refrigerator.” Still, he seems convinced that the technology is the way of the future.

Life Of Pi also features Tobey Maguire, Gerard Depardieu, Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Adil Hussain. It’ll be out on December 21, and we’re hoping to see a trailer soon.