Ever since director Ang Lee's masterpiece, Life of Pi (2012), I've been sleeping kind of with an open eye, inquisitively, as to what is next that Lee will be tackling. Now, based on the reports, cameras are to commence rolling in April, with Lee at the director's chairs once again, to direct Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, based on the novel of the same name penned by Ben Fountain.
Three minutes and forty-three seconds of intense warfare with Iraqi insurgents has transformed the eight surviving men of Bravo Squad into America's most sought-after heroes. Now they're on a media-intensive nationwide tour to reinvigorate support for the war. On this rainy Thanksgiving, the Bravos are guests of the Dallas Cowboys, slated to be part of the halftime show alongside Destiny's Child.
Among the Bravos is Specialist Billy Lynn. Surrounded by patriots sporting flag pins on their lapels and Support Our Troops bumper stickers, he is thrust into the company of the Cowboys' owner and his coterie of wealthy colleagues; a born-again Cowboys cheerleader; a veteran Hollywood producer; and supersized players eager for a vicarious taste of war. Over the course of this day, Billy will drink and brawl, yearn for home and mourn those missing, face a heart-wrenching decision, and discover pure love and a bitter wisdom far beyond his years.
Early in 2013, to THR, Lee expressed his interest in helming Cleopatra: A Life, by Stacy Schiff, with Angelina Jolie attached to star in the lead, for Sony and producer Scott Rudin. However, the project never got picked up for some reason. Though, I'm sure that both Lee and Jolie are still quite interested in the project.
Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, which I, personally can't wait to get my hands on, is hailed by some of my friends, as intense and passionate — one of the best books about the Iraq War. According to Deadline, Lee has tapped newcomer Joe Alwyn in the title role, and Garrett Hedlund (Unbroken, Tron Legacy) has also joined to limn Sgt. Dime, the leader of the Bravo Company Squad, respectively.
The film's going to be co-financed by Jeff Robinov, under his newly established banner, Studio 8, with Bona Film Group standing by his side, a Chinese distribution company.
No release date's been set yet, nor detailed information as to where Lee has planned to direct this. But what's interesting is that Variety's piece regarding the project claims that Lee is putting Sony F65 camera to work, which was first used by M. Night Shyamalan on After Earth, and the second one by director Joseph Kosinski on Oblivion. Not only that, but Lee is going to shoot in native 3D, high resolution with an ultra-high frame rate of 120 frames per second, to simply make audiences feel they are in a war zone, heightening the sensations that soldiers experience.
I'm personally not a proponent of 3D, though when done right, that's different, especially when it's in the hands of a competent filmmaker like Ang Lee. We know that Life of Pi was filmed in 3D, for Lee, as a director, was very motivated to do it in 3D for logical reasons, such as 3D offering a filmmaker a new cinematic language, to learn, and to innovate. Lee was never motivated by financial necessities to shoot Life of Pi the way it's been shot. I think that's what makes Life of Pi so special to me, besides its plot, the characters, and all. And same feelings I possess for James Cameron's magnum opus, Avatar and Alfonso Cuaron's Gravity.
What do you think? This project sounds like something you're going to stand in the line for when released?