Study Guide

Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk Chapter 17

By Ben Fountain

Chapter 17

Money Makes Us Real

  • Albert gets Dime and Billy up to speed before they go in to talk with Norm.
  • Norm wants in on the movie thing. He's inspired by Bravo, so he wants to create his own production company to make their film.
  • Albert thinks this is all a good deal, as long as the Bravos sign their consent to transfer the option for the film over to Norm.
  • There's a huge BUT to the whole thing, though: Norm doesn't want to pay the Bravos the $100,000 per man that they'd been promised up front. He might pay that amount to just Dime and Billy, if they want to cut out the rest of Bravo… ("Hell no!")
  • Dime is getting angry. He knows this isn't looking good for Bravo.
  • Next deal on the table? Instead of getting money up front, Bravo can defer to get a percentage of the movie's net profit.
  • So all the Bravos can count on getting up front would be…$5,500. Uhhh, yeah, that's a bit less than that what he'd been promising.
  • Albert is doing his best to make this deal look good, but both Dime and Billy can see he's backtracking.
  • Dime and Billy agree to go talk with Norm, because they want to at least try to get a better deal.
  • This time, Dime and Billy are ushered into the "war room," where Norm and company do all their secret business.
  • Norm assures the guys that he's going all in with the movie. He gives one heck of a motivational speech about why he wants to take this project on.
  • Dime puts the kibosh on Norm's feel-good moment. He demands that Norm cut the crap and show them he really means business by giving Bravo more money.
  • The whole scene becomes a battle of wills. It's a showdown between Norm's business acumen and Dime's angry pragmatism.
  • Dime starts cussing, so Albert ushers him and Billy into a more private room to have a talk.
  • Dime is wound up. He knows Bravo is getting screwed by Norm.
  • Albert wants Dime to take a deep breath and realize that Norm's crappy offer is the Bravos' only offer.
  • Dime calls the rest of the Bravos to get their votes, and they unanimously agree that Norm's proposal is a no-go. Of course, those aren't the exact words they use; they prefer the four-letter variety.
  • Billy checks his own phone and sees a text from Kathryn telling him that the Austin guys are sending a car to the stadium now.
  • Whoa.
  • Dime asks Billy for his opinion, and Billy is with the rest of Bravo: he'd rather get nothing than be used by a wily businessman.
  • And then Norm calls Albert on his cell; he's now got Bravo's chain of command involved. Of course Norm knows somebody high up and is getting him to pressure Bravo to take the deal.
  • A general is going to call Dime momentarily.
  • Dime, Billy, and Albert go back into the war room.
  • Norm says he doesn't blame the Bravos for being mad at him, but he's going to do whatever it takes to get the movie made.
  • Dime takes the phone call from General Ruthven—after Norm has schmoozed with him first, of course.
  • All anyone can overhear is a chorus of cryptic yessirs and nosirs, and then Dime tosses the phone back to Norm. He grabs Billy and they hustle out of the war room.
  • Billy is confused, to say the least, but Dime reassures him that it's all good: the general is a Steelers fan; he hates the Cowboys. He'll have Bravo's back.
  • Josh follows Dime and Billy back to their seats. He finally has some Advil for Billy.

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