Sony Pictures has just released the trailer for the film adaptation of Ben Fountain’s award-winning 2012 Iraq War novel, “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” — a book widely regarded as one of the the finest novels about the war. In keeping with its literary origins, the film is — or at least appears to be — more nuanced than, say, “American Sniper” or “Lone Survivor,” focusing less on combat and more on the soldier’s struggle to reconcile that experience with life back home.
The film centers on a 19-year-old war hero, Spc. Billy Lynn, who embarks on a two-week “Victory Tour” with members of his unit after surviving a harrowing firefight in Iraq that is captured by an embedded film crew. To boost support for the war, Billy and the squad are ordered to take part in the halftime show of a pro football game, during which they begin to realize that they’ve grown disconnected from the country they're fighting for.
“It’s sort of weird, being honored for the worst day of your life,” we hear Billy say in a thick Texas drawl at the opening of the trailer, as a somber rendition of David Bowie’s “Heroes” plays in the background to remind us, the audience, that being a hero is not all it’s chalked up to be.
The film has been generating buzz since it was announced that Ang Lee would be directing it. Lee has won two “Best Director” Oscars: the first for “Brokeback Mountain,” and the second for “Life of Pi.” But this may be his most ambitious project yet. Lee shot the movie in 3D, at 4K resolution, and 120 frames per second, with the goal of making the combat sequences feel as realistic as possible. This is the first time a feature film has been shot in what Sony is calling “immersive digital.”
Lynn is played by Hollywood newcomer Joe Alwyn, but the cast features quite a few bonafide celebs, including Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, Vin Diesel, and Chris Tucker. The movie is due to hit theaters in November.
Check out the trailer: