No matter how hit and miss his oeuvre can appear at a glance, it’s hard not to give Ang Lee a bit of credit for never playing it safe. Following his Oscar-winning work on Life of Pi, the director is taking what sounds like a real zigzag: at Universal, plans have been set for a boxing-centered period piece (set amidst the golden age of the ’60s and ’70s) “as seen through the prism of its biggest rivalries and greatest fights.” If you enjoyed his manipulation of 3D in Life of Pi, prepare for those same techniques as applied to thrown punches — by the likes of Ali, Frazier, Liston, Forman et al.

It’s early days, and thus the shape it takes to string together these iconic bouts — what will be the main attraction for audiences, surely — hasn’t been noted, reports Deadline. (A Pi-esque framing device seems likely, by my count.) Nevertheless, the potential spectacle inspires hope, if only because Lee, as far as the modern realm goes, is one of our finest melders of handsomely crafted sights and computer-oriented thrills — properly executed in 3D, the epic battles ought to leave a real impression. For this, alone, I look forward to hearing of its evolution in the coming months and years, better yet when James Schamus — the director’s writing / producing partner on career-defining titles like Eat Man Drink Woman, The Ice Storm, Crouching Tiger, and Lust, Caution — is tagging along to produce; given their history, a script is not out of the question.

What do you make of Lee’s new project, early as its reveal may be?

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