Ang Lee Pursued to Direct Iraq War Film

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Ang Lee has proven himself to be an incredibly versatile director. From the Jane Austen adaptation Sense and Sensibility, to the martial arts action-drama Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, to the heartbreaking love story that is Brokeback Mountain, Lee is one of the finest directors working in the world today. It’s no wonder studios are constantly on his tail.

The two-time Academy Award-winning filmmaker is currently being eyed to direct Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, an adaptation of the critically acclaimed Iraq War novel by Ben Fountain. The Wrap reports that the project is considered to be of high priority to Film4 and The Ink Factory, and that the studios have set their sights on Lee, “who has the edge on the job should he decide to pursue the project.”

Simon Beaufoy, who took home an Oscar for his Slumdog Millionaire screenplay, has penned the adaptation.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk tells of 19-year-old infantryman Billy Lynn, who, alongside his servicemen, survives a firefight in Iraq in 2005. The Bush administration decides to bring the soldiers home to be honoured during a Thanksgiving halftime show at the Dallas Cowboys’ football stadium. The book is said to be a dark satire, exploring the disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad.

It’s been just over a year since we reported that Ang Lee would be involved on another 3D project, which would be set in the boxing world of the 1960s and 1970s. The film would tell of the biggest rivalries and greatest fights, with Lee using state-of-the-art 3D technology (like he did with Life of Pi) to recreate some of the most memorable fights, including the Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali battle remembered as the Thrilla In Manila. Well, The Wrap is reporting that though Lee still has plans to direct the film, “it’s possible he could sneak in a smaller, more intimate, character-driven film first.”

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