Fox has released an official trailer for Life of Pi, a film treatment of Yann Martel’s award-winning novel that was shot in 3D and directed by Ang Lee (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, Brokeback Mountain). It arrives some two months after clips from the movie began showing in theaters, in front of 3D screenings for Prometheus.

The preview dives (literally) right into the genesis for protagonist Piscine ‘Pi’ Patel’s (Suraj Sharma) ethereal journey into adulthood. We glimpse the shipwreck that separates Pi from his family – who are moving their zoo overseas – and leaves him stranded in the ocean, with naught but a few surviving animals for company – including a tempestuous Bengal tiger named Richard Parker.

It’s a hauntingly beautiful spectacle, made all the more goosebump-inducing by the immersive cinematography provided by Oscar-nominee Claudio Miranda (The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, TRON Legacy).

The theatrical promo for Life of Pi only becomes more beautiful from thereon out, as viewers are bombarded with simply breath-taking imagery from Pi’s fantastical experiences while isolated at sea. The young man encounters soaring armadas of fish, massive whales caressing the ocean surface, and an island unspoiled by humanity that resembles something from a dream (or, possibly, a nightmare).

Pi encounters a whale in 'Life of Pi'

Martel’s source novel explores issues of spirituality, faith, and practicality through not only Pi’s surreal story of survival, but also the unique mindset of its protagonist (who adheres to the Christian, Hindu, and Muslim religions). Of course, it remains to be seen how well screenwriter David Magee (Finding Neverland) translates the narrative and thematic elements found in Martel’s book.

Lee’s Life of Pi movie certainly has the makings of a masterpiece, as far as visual splendor goes. The cast is small, but includes Irrfan Khan (The Amazing Spider-Man) and Oscar-nominee Gérard Depardieu (Hamlet). Moreover, Sharma stands to start his acting career with a bang – if he succeeds at carrying the film, being the only human onscreen for extended periods of time.

Life of Pi opens in US theaters (2D and 3D) on November 21st, 2012.

Source: iTunes Movie Trailers