Ang Lee Zeroes in on BILLY LYNN Lead; Will Shoot in Ultra-HFR 3D

     February 5, 2015

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Since winning the Best Director Oscar for Life of Pi, filmmaker Ang Lee has been taking his time in mulling over his next project.  For a while it seemed like a boxing drama was going to be next, but then an adaptation of the Iraq War satire Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk took first position.  Lee was planning to use a variety of new technological advances to shoot the boxing pic, and now it appears that he still aims to take a cutting-edge approach to Billy Lynn.

For those unfamiliar, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Ben Fountain and takes place in Texas, following the surviving members of a squad of soldiers who embark on a media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium as they prepare to return to Iraq. Much of the story takes place during this one day, with flashbacks revealing what happened overseas.

ang-lee-billy-lynns-long-halftime-walkPer Deadline, Lee will be using the Sony F65 camera and will shoot in native 3D, high-resolution with an ultra high frame rate in order to “create a different cinematic syntax in service of the story.”  The report says Lee aims to make a new way for audiences to experience drama, giving them the “heightened sensation” that soldiers feel on the battlefield and on the homefront.  Lee’s use of 3D and CGI in Life of Pi was stunning, and while I’m not a massive fan of HFR, I’m incredibly curious to see what he puts together for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

And with regards to the people in front of the camera, Deadline reports that Lee has narrowed the shortlist of the actors to play the lead to four names: Taron Egerton (Kingsman: The Secret Service), Jack Reynor (Transformers: Age of Extinction), Joe Cole (Peaky Blinders), and Billy Howle (Glue).  Filming is set to begin in April, so expect this final decision to come down soon.

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