Director Ang Lee has completed a worldwide talent search for Life of Pi and has cast newcomer Suraj Sharma to play the lead role of 16-year old Pi Patel, a youth who gets stranded for 227 days through shark-infested waters aboard a 26-foot lifeboat with a wounded zebra, a spotted hyena, a seasick orangutan, and a 450-pound Bengal tiger. The Fox 2000 film is a David Magee-scripted adaptation of Yann Martel’s Mann Booker Prize-winning novel about a kid who sets sail from Pondicherry, India on a freighter bound for Canada along with his father’s menagerie of zoo animals and gets stranded with those shipmates after an accident. I’m told that Sharma, a 17-year old student from Delhi, India, never acted before. He’s got quite a journey in front of him after Lee chose him after auditioning 3000 teenagers. The film will shoot in January.