Last week, a report surfaced that Ang Lee might possibly direct an adaptation of the Iraq War novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk as his next film instead of his 3D boxing movie that he’s been developing since last year. Today, that news has been confirmed, as Deadline reports that Lee will indeed be directing the Iraq War satire as his Life of Pi follow-up. This will be Lee’s first film after winning the Best Director Oscar, and it marks a fitting genre change for the versatile filmmaker. Lee has excelled at martial arts films (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), love stories (Brokeback Mountain), and even costume dramas (Sense and Sensibility), so why not tackle a satirical picture about Iraq war veterans? Based on the novel by Ben Fountain, the story takes place in Texas and follows the surviving members of a squad of soldiers as they embark on a media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys.
More on the film and what this means for Lee’s boxing movie after the jump.
Per Deadline, Lee will be directing Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk for TriStar Pictures, with production scheduled to begin in the spring. Lee continues to work on his boxing film at Universal, but even though they have a script by Peter Morgan, they’re still hammering out the budget, visual effects, and look of that film. The filmmaker was eager to get behind the camera and Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk apparently sparked his interest as a movie he could tackle right away. Slumdog Millionaire and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire scribe Simon Beaufoy penned the screenplay.
Read the synopsis for Fountain’s novel below:
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. [BN.com]