Depardieu and Irrfan Khan in Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi'

Oscar-winning director Ang Lee ( Brokeback Mountain, Taking Woodstock) has cast Gérard Depardieu ( Coco, La Vie en Rose) and Irrfan Khan ( Slumdog Millionaire, Spider-Man) in Life of Pi.

The story, adapted from the bestselling novel by Yann Martel, is a magical adventure centered on Pi Patel, the precocious son of a zookeeper in Pondicherry, India. During a move to Canada, they are shipwrecked, setting survivor Pi afloat. Newcomer Surej Sharma has been cast as the title character.

Bollywood star Tabu is in talks for the role of Pi's mother, according to Variety.

Depardieu costars with Catherine Deneuve in Potiche, now in theaters. He will appear in So I Say with Harvey Keitel, play Louis XVI in Farewell My Queen with Eva Green ( Casino Royale), and Vivaldi costarring Elle Fanning, Neve Campbell and Alfred Molina.

Life of Pi will be shot in 3D and is scheduled for release December 14, 2012.