Vin Diesel And Chris Rock Join Ang Lee Drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk


In one of the most intriguing casting announcements to emerge in recent weeks, Deadline reports that Vin Diesel and Chris Rock have both been locked in to appear in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.

The intrigue is sparked largely because of the film’s source material, story, tone and director. Brokeback Mountain‘s Ang Lee directs the film from a script by Slumdog Millionaire scribe Simon Beaufoy, which is in turn based on the novel by Ben Fountain. There’s no sign of car chases or broad comedy; two elements that usually attract Diesel and Rock. That’s not to infer that neither of capable of delivering dramatic performances, just that their involvement is unexpected.

And if the company of acting talent is anything to go by, they are involved in a grand ensemble. Newcomer Joe Alwyn leads the movie as Billy Lynn, a 19-year old whose wartime heroics in Iraq are captured by the media and broadcast stateside. When he and his crew, Bravo Company, return stateside from the conflict, they are issued a grand celebration at a Thanksgiving football game. Their arrival back home isn’t all breezy though, as the squad are faced with the horror of having to return to the Middle East shortly after.

In addition to Alwyn, Garrett Hedlund is on board in an unspecified role, Kristen Stewart is set to play his older sister and Steve Martin was enlisted for another mystery part. Similarly, sources are keeping Diesel and Rock’s characters under lock and key, but with the former’s muscle and the latter’s comedy chops, could they be all-important members of Bravo?

Production on Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is expected to start in summer 2015. Until any further news surfaces, check out the synopsis for Fountain’s novel and let us know your thoughts on the comedic double whammy of Diesel and Rock joining the cast.

A razor-sharp satire set in Texas during America’s war in Iraq, it explores the gaping national disconnect between the war at home and the war abroad.

Ben Fountain’s remarkable debut novel follows the surviving members of the heroic Bravo Squad through one exhausting stop in their media-intensive “Victory Tour” at Texas Stadium, football mecca of the Dallas Cowboys, their fans, promoters, and cheerleaders.