Given that Ang Lee has won two Academy Awards for Best Director, it’s not exactly a shock that the guy has the ability to bring together a talented ensemble. Still, it’s pretty fascinating to watch the eclectic cast of his latest project, Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, grow.
Newcomer Joe Alwyn has been hired to play the lead role in the new drama, based on the novel by Ben Fountain, and will portray a soldier who, after surviving a firefight in Iraq, is trotted out during the halftime show of a Thanksgiving football game – shorting before having to fly back into the Middle Eastern war zone. Obviously we can expect Alwyn to shoulder a lot of the dramatic weight in the movie, but the filmmakers attached to the project have also surrounded him with an impressive line-up of supporting players – two of whom just signed on today. Let’s take a closer look at this cast, shall we?
Remember what I was saying about new additions? Well, one of them is none other than Vin Diesel, who is just coming off the massive first-weekend success of James Wan’s Furious 7. Deadline first reported his agreement to sign on to the project, though they don’t appear to have any information about the character that he will be playing in the movie.
Chris Tucker is the second new addition, but sadly, like Vin Diesel, there doesn’t appear to be any information available about the role he will be playing. The simple fact that Tucker has signed on to this project is interesting, simply because the guy doesn’t take on that many projects. His last role was in David O. Russell’s 2012 movie Silver Linings Playbook, and before that was Brett Ratner’s 2007 feature Rush Hour 3.
Throughout his career, Steve Martin has always been known to occasionally mix a few dramas into his resume, and it looks like he’ll once again be going that route with Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. It hasn't been confirmed, though it has been rumored that the actor will be playing the role of Albert - a film producer who wishes to make a film based on the titular Billy Lynn's time while serving in Iraq.
It was just last week that Kristen Stewart signed up to join Ang Lee’s Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk. She will have strong familial ties to Joe Alwyn in the film, as she will be playing the titular character’s older sister in the story.
Finally we have Garrett Hedlund, who is actually reuniting with Kristen Stewart, having previously worked with her on the adaptation of Jack Kerouac’s On the Road. In Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, he will be playing Sgt. Dime, the incredibly intense leader of Billy Lynn’s platoon, Bravo Company.
Production on the film is set to start this month, so it’s unclear at this point if we can expect more names to come aboard. Still, this is already an impressive group that Ang Lee has put together, and it will be interesting to see what the results are.