Ang Lee on ‘Billy Lynn,’ Film’s Future, & Trying to Make ‘Thrilla in Manila’ His Next Movie

     November 18, 2016


After director Ang Lee finished making Life of Pi, a film that basked in the lush visuals of the 3D medium and digital filmmaking, he decided to up the ante. As he told Collider in an interview during the junket for Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, he wanted to know more about bringing multiple dimensions to his work, so he explored the possibility of shooting a movie in 120 frames per second. (The industry standard is 24 FPS.)

Billy Lynn became the film to utilize this approach. The film, starring newcomer Joe Alwyn, tells of a soldier who comes back from Iraq and embarks on a victory tour across America, culminating in an appearance at a football game halftime show on Thanksgiving Day. In fact, the game scene was modeled after the 2004 halftime show with Destiny’s Child. The real Beyonce, Kelly, and Michele didn’t appear in the film, but Lee told us he considered it. In the end, he was just happy to be able to use their music.

In terms of the technology, Lee believes this is the start of something new for film in that it provokes more participation from the audience, bringing them more into the scene. Looking ahead in his own career, Lee hopes to make Thrilla in Manila, the boxing story about Muhammad Ali, his next project — assuming he can gather the funding he needs.

Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk is now playing in theaters nationwide. Watch our interview with Lee above.

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