We know very little about Terrence Malick‘s new film Tree of Life, said to be a generational family drama. We know it stars Brad Pitt as part of the film’s elder generation, and Sean Penn as the adult version of Pitt’s son. Beyond that, plot details are sketchy as Malick’s team has been very good about scrubbing them from the web. Not so sketchy that you can’t find them if you really want, but I’d rather leave all that as a mystery. Feel like I know too much already.

Various theoretical release dates have been batted around since the film was pushed back from a late 2009 release. We’ve figured it would premiere at Cannes, and while that debut isn’t yet confirmed, it seems almost a lock now. Apparition’s Bob Berney has been talking up the film, and confirming that an early November release is currently planned for North America. There’s not much here, but for those dying for this movie (like me), is is something. Read More »


When press releases and news articles first appeared with details of new distributor Apparition, one thing stood out: Tree of Life, the upcoming and as yet very mysterious new film from lone wolf director Terrence Malick, was planned for release on Christmas Day. This seemed wildly optimistic, as the film’s production had been kept so tightly under wraps that we barely know what the film is about, and had no reason to believe it was done. That skepticism turns out to be well-founded, as the film has been pushed to an undetermined release in 2010. Read More »

There’s a lot of casting news tonight, and instead of boring you with three separate news stories, I thought it might be better to combine them into one Casting update. So here we go.

Chow Yun Fat in Dragonball Z

Chow Yun Fat has been cast as Master Roshi in 20th Century Fox’s live-action Dragonball Z movie. Chow’s character trains Goku, played in the film version by  Justin Chatwin, an alien warrior who must protect Earth from “an endless stream of rogues bent on dominating the universe and controlling mystical objects known as Dragon Balls.” He may look like an old man but he is stronger than most beings on Earth. In English, his name means “Invincible Old Master”. The announced cast also includes: James Marsters, Emmy Rossum and Jamie Chung. Dragonball is currently shooting in Mexico City.

Kevin Macdonald is currently in talks with Ben Affleck to replace Edward Norton, who has officially left Universal’s State of Play. The film which was scheduled to begin production in Mid-November, will now begin production in January 2008. Affleck will play a fast-rising politician who is caught up in a murder conspiracy. Russell Crowe will play a journalist who is investigating the killing. Helen Mirren, Rachel McAdams, Robin Wright Penn and Jason Bateman are also attached.

Brad Pitt, who also just left State of Play, is now in talks to replace Heath Ledger in Terrence Malick‘s Tree of Life. Sean Penn is still scheduled to play a supporting role in Tree of Life. Apaprently Pitt would have earned $20 million against the gross to star in State of Play, but is considering this film which offers “nearly no upfront money.” In this Brad Pittday and age, you have to respect an actor who would turn down that kind of cash, and instead opt to work for Malick for next to nothing (at least up front).

What is it about? In one version of the screenplay, the story opened with “a sleeping god, underwater, dreaming of the origins of the universe, starting with the big bang and moving forward, as fluorescent fish swam into the deity’s nostrils and out again.” Malick supposedly wanted to create something that has never been seen before, and dispatched cameramen all over the world. They shot micro jellyfish on the Great Barrier Reef volcanic explosions on Mount Edna, and ice shelves breaking off in Antarctica. special effects consultant Richard Taylor describes sections of the script as “pages of poetry, with no dialogue, glorious visual descriptions.” Sounds interesting

sources: THR, Variety, Variety, Vanity Fair