After taking a hiatus for the birth of her son, Natalie Portman is gearing up to get back to work. Portman, who won Best Actress at last year’s Academy Awards, has found her first post-Oscar roles in two upcoming Terrence Malick films, Knight of Cups and Lawless. Details on the two films are still scarce, but given the combination of Malick, Portman, and her co-stars on the two projects, I’m pretty excited all the same. More details after the jump.

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Awards and top ten lists and all of that be damned: months after its release people are still talking about Terrence Malick‘s The Tree of Life, and with good reason. Dispute the effectiveness of the bookending Sean Penn sequences, sure, but the core of the movie is a powerful family story that works precisely because of Malick’s characteristic approach.

The film has that small, solid family center, but also has much bigger things at the fringes, and recently released storyboards clue us in to plans that would have put another layer of narrative into The Tree of Life. The boards show a sequence featuring Adam, Eve, Cain and Abel — a story that could have either provided more thematic weight for the film, or bogged it down with a too-obvious layer of allegory. Likely the latter, given that the scenes didn’t end up in the film, and may not have even been shot.

Regardless, check out the boards below. Read More »

Terrence Malick news has been plentiful of late. I’d almost feel uneasy about this — a flurry of activity from a guy known for completing an average of one film every decade — if it wasn’t so pleasant. Yesterday we got the announcement of two new films from the director, Lawless and Knight of Cups. Those both feature Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett, as well as a handful of other actors.

Those are two of Malick’s four upcoming potential films. Another one is the IMAX doc Voyage of Time, of which we’ve heard rumblings for a few years and is supposedly still going to be finished. And then there’s a movie that is already shot: the Untitled Terrence Malick Project, which has also been referred to as The Burial. That one features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem, Olga Kurylenko and Rachel Weisz. It was shot last year, with some reshoots taking place this past spring, and is in post-production. In true Malick form, reliable details on that movie have been hard to come by. In the wake of yesterday’s bombshell announcement, some new info did come to light, however, and it is after the break. Read More »

I don’t know what meds Terrence Malick started taking last year, but I like the result. From 1973 to 2011, the director released only five films. Now he has another four in the pipeline. Malick took years finishing The Tree of Life and is still reportedly working on the IMAX doc Voyage of Time. That latter film is new project number one.

He has already shot a film that may or may not be called The Burial, which features Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Javier Bardem and Rachel Weisz. That’s number two. And he has been prepping a movie with Christian Bale and newcomer Haley Bennett, which shot partially at the Austin City Limits fest in mid-September. That’s number three, and the title has been revealed as Lawless.

In addition to those, he has a fourth film on the docket, also with Bale: Knight of Cups. Details on both of those last two films are after the break. Read More »

Not long ago, we heard that Terrence Malick has a new film brewing with Christian Bale. Almost nothing else was known about the project — no real story, no timeline, no other cast details. Over the weekend, we got what seems to be the best possible confirmation of this project as Malick and Bale were spotted all over the Austin City Limits music fest. A camera crew was following the two and actress Haley Bennett, recently said to be the frontrunner for the female lead. Malick was also photographed with camera in hand.

We still don’t know any real details of the story, or even if this was essentially a test shoot. Given that Bale is still shooting The Dark Knight Rises we didn’t expect to learn anything new about this for a while, so this collection of images is an unexpected surprise. Photos and video of the director are exceedingly rare, so for Malick fans the collection of photos and video that we have below will be a hell of a lot more enticing than all the superhero movie set photos that crop up on a daily basis. Read More »

When Terrence Malick chose Jessica Chastain years ago to be the female lead in The Tree of Life she was all but unknown; now she seems to be everywhere, and is garnering great praise for her performances in Malick’s movie, The Debt and (at the Venice film fest) Wilde Salome. Malick employed the same canny eye for casting with his first feature, Badlands, when he chose Sissy Spacek to star.

So when the director picks a relative unknown to star in his as-yet untitled film that will star Christian Bale, we should all take notice. The actress in question is Haley Bennett (Marley & Me, The Haunting of Molly Hartley), said to be the frontrunner for a role that has drawn no small amount of interest. Read More »

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Not only is Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life one of the most beautiful films of the year, it’s also sparked some of the most fascinating online discourse. Critics are fairly divided, with some arguing that “The Tree Of Life has a vision that makes most movies look like crude stick drawings,” while others opine, “Tree of Life? Tree of sanctimonious mopey male egotism disguised as a search for meaning, more like.” Overall, though, the film has a high ranking on Rottentomatoes and has performed respectably at the box office.

But one thing that I’ve heard numerous times is that Sean Penn is wasted in this film. And a recent interview that Penn gave seems to affirm that the strong-willed actor himself believes his character was not put to good use. Hit the jump to read his comments.
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After directing only four movies in almost forty years, you could never call Terrence Malick a busy filmmaker. That’s completely changed in the last few months. He released The Tree of Life earlier this year, is currently in post-production on an untitled romance starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams and he’s still attached to a long-rumored project called Voyage of Time. As if that wasn’t enough, Twitchfilm reports he’s just cast Christian Bale in yet another movie that’ll start shooting in early 2012. Read more after the jump. Read More »

The answer to that question may, possibly, be ‘yes.’ (But my gut says ‘no.’) We hear about super-long cuts of movies relatively often; many a film has been the subject of rumor about an early edit running four, five, even six hours. These often refer to early, raw assembly edits that are never meant to be seen as a final film. (And, in the modern age of on the fly non-linear editing, such cuts are mostly relics of the past.) Most of the time, the extra-long cut of a movie is simply a fantasy cooked up in the imaginations of hopeful audiences.

But sometimes not. Terrence Malick is a notorious tinkerer in the editing room, where he gradually ‘finds’ his movies through a great deal of experimentation with what we often imagine to be mountains of film. And while it seems difficult to believe that The Tree of Life, which currently runs a little under two and a half hours, might be stretched to SIX hours, that’s what a recent interview may claim will happen. Read More »