Posted on Saturday, August 8th, 2009 by Russ Fischer
The Playlist has been great about uncovering info about the two upcoming Terrence Malick films, The Tree of Life and Voyage of Time. The Tree of Life is the feature starring Sean Penn and Brad Pitt in a father/son tale about the loss of innocence. Voyage of Time is an IMAX documentary about, essentially, the birth and death of the universe. Both films feature work by Peter Parks, the macro photography guru who created amazingly beautiful (and affordable) effects images for Darren Aronofsky’s The Fountain. Last night, via a PDF that has since been pulled down (more on that in a second), the site found that Brad Pitt is evidently narrating Voyage of Time, which only strengthens impressions we’ve had that the two films are closely related.
Both films seem to have grown out of a project called Q that was discussed in a Los Angeles Magazine article in 1995. That film was conceived in 1978, originally as “a multicharacter drama set in the Middle East during World War I, with a prologue set in prehistoric times,” but where eventually the prehistoric prologue became the entire story. Richard Taylor, who has become one of the world’s premiere effects guys at WETA, was a consultant on the project in the ’90s. He said, “there is this creature, a Minotaur, sleeping in the water, and he dreams about the evolution of the universe, seeing the earth change from a sea of magma to the earliest vegetation, to the dinosaurs, and then to man. It would be this metaphorical story that moves you through time.”
The two new films are quite a bit different at this point, but that journey through time is obviously still much on Malick’s mind. He’s also quite secretive about it; like the PDF that mentions Pitt’s narration for the doc, many of the online sources for info on these projects have been taken down once the information within became more widely disseminated. Which means there’s still some doubt about what exactly we’ll see, but with Malick a sense of mystery is always paramount.
It’s at this point that I have to (re)express my amazement at the fact that we might get two new Terrence Malick films within the next year. The Tree of Life is said to be opening in December of this year (though I wouldn’t be at all surprised if that’s not the case) and we’ll have to wait until at least sometime in 2010 for Voyage of Time.