Ang Lee, who spent the last several years on one project, says he has to back out of helming the pilot for the new television series "Tyrant".
"It is with disappointment that I must confirm I have withdrawn from my commitment to direct the upcoming FX pilot 'Tyrant,'" he said in a statement. "It is one of the most brilliant ideas for a series that I've seen and one about which I was very excited. However, after spending over four years making and promoting 'Life of Pi,' I have recently realized that I need some rest. Because I cannot give 100 percent to this exciting project at this time, I cannot allow myself to do anything that may affect the potential for this exciting new series. I wish Fox 21 and FX the best with this remarkable project."
Lee also cites other commitments as reasons for the pullout; he is currently serving as a juror at the Cannes Film Festival, among other things.
"Tyrant" tells the story of an American family who gets caught up in the stormy Middle East. Production is supposed to begin this summer, but the cast has yet to be announced.