Ang Lee Finds His Billy Lynn

Newcomer Joe Alwyn takes the Long Halftime Walk


by Owen Williams |
Published on

No deals have quite yet been done, but it looks likely that Ang Lee has found his star for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. Following an extensive search, Lee's casting net has finally settled on Joe Alwyn, who's said to have garnered the director's 'final approval' last weekend.

Alwyn is such a newcomer that he doesn't even have an IMDb page yet, but you will find him listed at London's Royal Central School Of Speech And Drama. Also a graduate of the National Youth Theatre and Bristol University, his stage work includes productions of Angels In America, Titus Andronicus and The Oresteia. No short films or appearances on Casualty for Alwyn. Straight to the big screen with an Ang Lee movie. Not bad, that.

Adapted by Slumdog Millionaire writer Simon Beaufoy from Ben Fountain's novel, Billy Lynn follows the titular 19-year-old soldier, who along with his squad has survived a tough battle in Iraq that made headlines and turned the troops into instant celebrities.

Shipped home for a promotional tour by the army, they’re scheduled to return to combat after the final engagement of the trip, a halftime show of a Thanksgiving Day American football game in Texas. As the game progresses, we see flashbacks to what Billy and his platoon endured in the heat of battle.

Pushing the technology as usual, Lee is planning to utilise "3D, high resolution and an ultra-high frame rate" for the film, presumably employing different sensory techniques for the 'now' sequences and the vivid war scenes.

Lee is currently in pre-production, and there's not quite a start date in place yet. Fountain's critically-acclaimed novel is published in the UK by Canongate.

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