Garrett Hedlund and Steve Martin May Join Ang Lee’s BILLY LYNN’S LONG HALFTIME WALK

     March 6, 2015

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A couple of casting developments have come to our attention. First up, Ang Lee is finally gearing up to begin production on his first film since winning the Best Director Oscar for 2012’s Life of Pi. The filmmaker is tackling an adaptation of the Ben Fountain novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which is an Iraq War satire that takes place in Texas and revolves around the surviving members of a squad of soldiers who, while preparing to return to Iraq, embark on a media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium. Much of the story takes place during their appearance at Texas Stadium, with flashbacks scattered throughout.

Lee previously cast newcomer Joe Alwyn as the titular lead, and now Deadline reports that Garrett Hedlund is in final talks to play the film’s second lead, while Steve Martin may or may not be signing on as well. Hedlund will play Sgt. Dime, the “dynamic, intense, and explosive” leader of Lynn’s Bravo Company Squad. Deadline previously reported that Martin was set to join the cast as well, but today they note that scheduling issues may prevent him from signing on.

Lee plans on shooting the drama in high resolution, ultra-high frame rate 3D with the Sony F65 camera. His goal is “to create a different cinematic syntax in service of the story.” Production will get underway next month.

allison-janney-miss-peregrines-home-for-peculiar-childrenAdditionally, Variety reports that Allison Janney has joined the cast of Tim Burton’s next film, Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. The adaptation of the Ransom Riggs novel was scripted by Jane Goldman (Kick-Ass, Stardust) and focuses on a teenager (played by Asa Butterfield) who is transported to an island where he must help protect a group of orphans that have special powers. Eva Green plays Miss Peregrine, who acts as a guardian for the orphans, and Samuel L. Jackson also stars.

Janney automatically makes whatever project she joins at least 25% better, so her casting can only be seen as a good thing. The Emmy-winning West Wing actress, who currently stars on the CBS sitcom Mom, will play the psychiatrist to Butterfield’s character. 20th Century Fox will release the pic on March 4, 2016.

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