Image Credit: Rhythm & Hues
Adam B. Vary
April 25, 2012 AT 12:00 PM EDT

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:

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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.

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Read more:

Tobey Maguire to re-team with Ang Lee in ‘Life of Pi’

Unknown Indian teen cast in Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’

‘Life of Pi’ wins Man Booker Prize

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