Now we’re all well aware of the danger when translating a fantastic novel to film, but Ang Lee seems like a culturally responsible choice to direct a Fox 2000 adaptation of Yann Martel‘s “Life of Pi.”

The book recounts the journey of an Indian youth who is the sole survivor of a shipwreck in the Pacific, but by some chance ends up sharing his lifeboat with a hyena, and injured zebra, an orangutan and a famished Bengal tiger. Sounds like a Noah’s Ark spin off, but it’s got a spiritually holistic edge that reaches across various cultural philosophies.

Lee, who was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for 2000′s Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and 2005′s Brokeback Mountain, is the most likely choice to direct the film and will also oversee a new draft of the script, which has been passed around several writers including Dean Georgaris and M. Night Shyamalan. Let’s hope that the switchover to Lee’s supervision will produce results that are more along the lines of the beauty and mysticism of Crouching Tiger, and less of the over-the-top spookiness of The Village.

The novel, which won the Man Booker Prize in 2002, has sold well over 1 million copies, so the film, set for release by Focus Features in August, has some high standards of popularity to meet.

Do you think Lee is up to the task? Will a film adaptation of “Life of Pi” prove successful?