Oscar-winning director Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) is very much well known for being something of a visionary. His latest project will be bringing us an adaptation of Yann Martel’s Man Booker Prize-winning novel, Life of Pi, and with its release coming in the final weeks of the year, there’s already Oscar buzz surrounding the film.

Of course it’s still early days yet, but with a somewhat awesome first image now surfacing online, it’s not difficult to see why it might be a contender.

Suraj Sharma will be making his acting debut as the eponymous Pi, with the rest of the cast including the likes of Tabu (The Namesake), Irrfan Khan (The Amazing Spider-Man), Adil Hussain (Agent Vinod), Tobey Maguire (Spider-Man), and Gérard Depardieu (Mesrine).

Courtesy of Waterstones, here’s the synopsis for the original novel:

“After the tragic sinking of a cargo ship, a solitary lifeboat remains bobbing on the wild, blue Pacific. The only survivors from the wreck are a sixteen year-old boy named Pi, a hyena, a zebra (with a broken leg), a female orangutan – and a 450-pound Royal Bengal tiger. The scene is set for one of the most extraordinary and best-loved works of fiction in recent years.”

Life of Pi is set to be released on 19th December in the UK and US, and here in the UK, that means it will currently be up against Judd Apatow’s This Is 40, a week after Peter Jackson’s first instalment of The Hobbit, and a week before Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. (Smart money says the original novels of The Hobbit, The Great Gatsby, and Life of Pi will all be topping the charts around Christmas.) So still some time before it all unravels on the big screen, but here’s the brilliant first image to whet your appetites. As usual, you can click to enlarge.

Source: CriterionCast via The Playlist.