The upcoming Ang Lee-directed film adaptation of Ben Fountain’s novel Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk has found its squad of beleaguered Iraq War veterans, and his female lead. First off, Lee has set Makenzie Leigh to play the female lead role of Faison, a Texas cheerleader who is stunned by the powerful, immediate chemistry she feels with Billy Lynn (Joe Alwyn) during his short visit to her hometown. Leigh, who was most recently seen in the NBC mini The Slap, and the Josh Mond-directed indie James White, is repped by Innovative Artists and Brookside Artist Management.
Filling the ranks of Bravo Squad: Arturo Castro (Broad City), who will play “Mango”; Barney Harris, who will play “Sykes”; Beau Knapp, who plays “Crack”; Mason Lee, who plays “Foo”; Brian “Astro” Bradley, who plays “Lodis”; and Ismael Cruz Cordova, who plays “Holiday”. In addition, Makenzie Leigh (The Slap) will play Faison, a Texas cheerleader and love interest to main character Billy Flynn. They join actor Joe Alwyn, already cast in the title role.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk follows a unit of decorated Iraq war soldiers who, at the height of the war, survive a bloody battle and come out of it hailed as heroes. Brought back stateside to participate in patriotic events to boost support for the war, they become disillusioned with the military and noncombatant civilians when they learn that despite their service, they’re going to be sent back for another tour. Directed by Ang Lee from a script by Simon Beaufoy and Jean-Christophe Castelli, the film is being shot using state-of-the-art Sony cameras in native 3D, promising high resolution and an unprecedented frame rate.
Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is a partnership between TriStar, Studio 8, Bona Film Group and Film4. Lee is producing, along with Marc Platt, Ink Factory’s Stephen Cornwell, Rhodri Thomas and Simon Cornwell. It hits theaters November 11, 2016.
Patrick St. Esprit has joined the cast of 20th Century Fox’s science fiction sequel Independence Day 2. He’ll play Secretary of Defense Tanner, reporting to the US President (played by Sela Ward). He joins Liam Hemsworth, along with returning stars Bill Pullman, Vivica A. Fox, and Jeff Goldblum. Directed by Roland Emmerich and produced by Emmerich, Dean Devlin, and Harald Kloser, Independence Day 2 is set for release June 24, 2016.
St. Esprit was last seen in Draft Day, and recently wrapped two films – I Am Wrath, and Arms & The Dudes. He will be appearing in the upcoming HBO series Ballers, and the Netflix series Narcos. He’s repped by Justice and Ponder.