On paper, Ang Lee’s ‘Life of Pi’ sounds like an Oscar-contender. The ‘Brokeback Mountain’ director has Academy recognition (having won the Oscar for his cowboy drama). And he’s tackling a best-selling, prize-winning novel with a plot that presents all sorts of visual and narrative challenges. If he can overcome them, Lee and his adaptation are sure to be in the Oscar conversation. All that’s left is for audiences to see the movie, and this first trailer is going to help sell the goods.

Yann Martel’s 2001 novel is divided into three segments, though the toughest involves the protagonist, Pi (Suraj Sharma) adrift on a raft with a tiger. That becomes the focus of a gorgeous new teaser clip for ‘Pi' which debuted online today.

This could be a career-making role for Sharma, who’ll have to carry the bulk of ‘Pi’ (though Irrfan Khan plays the older Pi). In addition, Tobey Maguire joins his ‘Ice Storm’ director to play author Martel on screen, though the real star of ‘Life of Pi’ so far looks to be Lee’s visuals.

The film will be in theaters on Nov. 21, just in time for the usually busy Thanksgiving movie-going weekend. Here’s the new trailer. What do you think?