2011 is a good time to be a Terrence Malick fan. The notoriously reclusive director doesn’t talk to press so for the most part, before this year, getting any info on “The Tree Of Life” or anything else he was working on required patience, digging and a bit of teeth pulling. But with the “The Tree Of Life” beginning its rollout this weekend, the producers of the film are talking to press on his behalf and in addition to chatting about the film are also offering up morsels on some other projects Malick is currently cooking up. As you already know, last year he shot a new untitled film—referred to as “The Burial” in some cirlces—starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Barry Pepper and Jessica Chastain. Details have been scarce, and while some bits and pieces leaked last fall, as we guessed, it’ll probably be nothing like whatever those scrapings of info suggested.
24 Frames reports that Malick recently wrapped reshoots and finished photography on the film and that according to their source it is “even more experimental than ‘Tree of Life.’” Of course, that’s fairly vague and could mean anything, but given that Malick has taken fusing drama with much larger spiritual and existential questions in “The Tree Of Life,” we’re not surprised that his next effort may be even more boldly freeform in its approach. But “experimental” means many things to many people so don’t cling to that descriptor too hard.
As for the gestating documentary, “Voyage Of Time,” the site confirms the reports that surfaced yesterday about the film’s development, with producer Bill Pohlad revealing that there was a plan to release it simultaneously with “The Tree Of Life” as a parallel IMAX film, but they put it off fearing the films would dilute one another.
“It was important not to cannibalize ‘Tree of Life,’” Pohlad said. “But we want to do it. He just has to find the time to do it.” The site got their hands on some official documents pertaining the to the film and say that Brad Pitt will indeed narrate as was first revealed a couple of years ago, and that it will cover “the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse.” But what does that mean? Well, “the first signs of life, bacteria, cellular pioneers, first love, consciousness, the ascent of humanity, life and death and the end of the universe” will all apparently be among the topics covered. Amazing. Malick is working with 20 consultants on the project to ensure it’s artistically and scientifically credible and apparently, the business plan for the project has endorsements from Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese. Looks like Team Malick is stacked.
Of course, when we’ll get to see any of these is anybody’s guess. While an official still for the other, untitled film popped up in February (see above), that doesn’t mean anything as Malick’s unconventional editing process could literally take years. While we have fingers crossed that we’ll see it in 2012 (back-to-back Malick, can one dare to dream?) we won’t be entirely shocked if it takes longer than that. And it seems to be the priority, with Pohlad suggesting that “Voyage Of Time” could be even further off.
But hey, let’s enjoy the Malick film we have right now. “The Tree Of Life” will open nationwide on July 8th.
-Joey's Two Cents: I'm not huge on Malick, but I always give him a chance, so we'll see about this one (also, look for my review of The Tree of Life very soon)...thoughts?