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The Tree of Life (2011)


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According to a quick trip through some stories at The Guardian, IMDB, and various online chats about sci-fi and Mel Gibson, it looks like the next Terrence Malick film may be Tree of Life.

Colin Farrell and Mel Gibson are the actors supposedly involved, but it sounds like something along the lines of 2001: A Space Odyssey, beginning in some pre-historic era and jumping forward in time. (And that's interesting, considering how I've heard The New World compared to 2001 several times.)

But this all sounds very vague and speculative. Who knows?

Anybody here heard about this? (I see Peter mentioned it in his blog about a year ago.)

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I wonder how this will differentiate itself from The Fountain, which is also a sci-fi movie about the tree of life, and which involves jumping through various time periods.

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My dad is connected to the Christian film industry, and I heard one of his friends mention this movie. Apparently part of it's set before mankind, part of it's on a farmhouse, and part of it's in the future? But that's all third-hand information, so I have no idea how accurate it is.

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Jeffrey Overstreet wrote:

: Anybody here heard about this? (I see Peter mentioned it in his blog about a year ago.)

Yup, and I just checked to see if we had any previous threads on the film, but to my surprise, it doesn't seem like we did. (I didn't search for "tree of life", because our search engine can't handle two-letter words. But I did search for "malick", and I can't imagine that any thread on this film would NOT have mentioned his name.)

If memory serves, I asked producer Sarah Green if there was any news about this film at the junket for The New World, but not surprisingly, she wouldn't say anything about Malick's plans for the future. They seem to be very in-flux anyway -- remember how he was once associated with that Che Guevara movie?

The shortest gap between Malick movies is, what, five years? (I'm thinking between Badlands and Days of Heaven.) And of course there was a whopping TWENTY years between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line, and then another seven years before The New World. So I'd be very surprised if Malick were to start shooting another film so soon.

But hey, stranger things have happened.

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Anybody here heard about this? (I see Peter mentioned it in his blog about a year ago.)

Here is a link to the original news item from 2005. There are some comments about halfway down here about a 1978 Malick project that sounds similar :

"And yet in the summer of 1978, Malick had begun work on Q-easily his most ambitious project. The original concept was a multicharacter drama set in the Middle East during World War I, with a prologue set in prehistoric times. But after dispatching an assistant for 10 weeks to scout locations, Malick chucked the Middle East section. By the end of the year, the prehistoric prologue had become the whole script.

'Imagine this surrealistic reptillian world,' says Richard Taylor(now with WETA) a special effects consultant Malick hired. "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 IMDB trivia section for Tree of Life connects these two projects. It sounds rather mytho-poetical, perhaps his success with The New World convinced him he could also do Q.

I wonder how this will differentiate itself from The Fountain, which is also a sci-fi movie about the tree of life, and which involves jumping through various time periods.

I wondered about that as well, but this may just be an accident of timing. I have read numerous sci-fi short stories and novels about jumping through various time periods that have all been excellent in and of themselves. I would be more than willing to watch both!

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Peter Chattaway wrote:

: I'd be very surprised if Malick were to start shooting another film so soon.

Malick is one of the producers of Amazing Grace, though, which came along soon after The New World. Not sure how 'hands-on' his production role is, though.

Edited by Tim Willson

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Ledger, Penn take part in Malick's 'Life'

Heath Ledger and Sean Penn are in talks to star in "Tree of Life," with River Road Entertainment finally bringing writer-director Terrence Malick's long-gestating drama to life. Ledger would take the lead opposite an actress to be determined, with Penn in a supporting role. Malick also is in talks, with principal photography set to begin in March. . . . "New World" lead Colin Farrell was in talks to star in the feature two years ago, with about a third of the shoot set for India, but the star and location are no longer part of the project. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, October 29

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The comments on this Jeffrey Wells post contain just about all of the details currently available on this project... which isn't much.

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Pitt in talks to star in 'Tree of Life'

Brad Pitt is in talks to climb into "Tree of Life," a drama Terrence Malick wrote and will direct. . . . Pitt, who recently ankled the Universal Pictures drama "State of Play," would replace Heath Ledger, who was skedded to star with Sean Penn in the Malick-directed drama, which begins production in the spring.

Variety, December 18

- - -

Wait a minute ... wasn't Pitt attached to the similar-sounding The Fountain several years ago, and didn't he drop out of that film at the last minute, just as he recently dropped out of State of Play?

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Pitt wanted 95 percent discount on resort stay

Sean Penn and the Jolie-Pitts all living under the same roof? For a brief time, such thing was a possibility.

Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie and kids set up camp in Texas for nearly a month as Pitt filmed

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Chastain to star opposite Pitt in 'Tree'

Jessica Chastain has been cast opposite Brad Pitt in the drama "Tree of Life," written and directed by Terrence Malick. . . .

The story concerns the loss of innocence as seen through the eyes of the son of the characters portrayed by Pitt and Chastain. . . .

Variety, April 15

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Videos of the "tree of life" being moved from one place to another, by truck and by crane, with a flyover shot from a helicopter.

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I suspect this rumour is utterly bogus -- if Malick were shooting this film in IMAX, wouldn't we have already heard about it by now? -- but still, just for the record, let's link to it.

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Dinosaurs.

Dinosaurs!

I think I'm going to be grinning for a week.

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What do you call a Malick dinosaur?

A philosophaurus.

Edited by MLeary

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MLeary wrote:

: What do you call a Malick dinosaur?

:

A philosophaurus.

:D

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By now we've all obviously heard that Terrence Malick's "Tree Of Life," has grown into two films. One will be a drama starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain (pictured) and the second will be an a panoramic and extensive natural history segment/ IMAX movie that features dinosaurs and depicts, "the birth and death of the universe."

But apparently the second film is now called, "The Voyage of Time." Google searches bring up many references (with photos too) and an Awards Daily commenter from Austin that says "I can confirm that Malick is working on a parallel project entitled 'Voyage of Time.' "

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By now we've all obviously heard that Terrence Malick's "Tree Of Life," has grown into two films. One will be a drama starring Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain (pictured) and the second will be an a panoramic and extensive natural history segment/ IMAX movie that features dinosaurs and depicts, "the birth and death of the universe."

But apparently the second film is now called, "The Voyage of Time." Google searches bring up many references (with photos too) and an Awards Daily commenter from Austin that says "I can confirm that Malick is working on a parallel project entitled 'Voyage of Time.' "

What? He's remaking Fantasia?!

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'Tree of Life' will get Apparition off the ground

River Road Entertainment's Bill Pohlad and distribution guru Bob Berney announced their new distribution venture Thursday, saying that the company would be named Apparition and that it would release Terrence Malick's anticipated opus "The Tree of Life." . . .

Malick's fifth film and first since 2005's colonial drama "The New World," "Life" has been the subject of much speculation in filmmaker and fan circles. Some believe the movie, which stars Sean Penn and Brad Pitt, to be a coming-of-age tale set in the Midwest, where Malick comes from. Apparition did not announce a date for the pic, which Malick has been editing for some time. . . .

Hollywood Reporter, August 6

http://blogs.indiewire.com/thompsononhollywood/2009/08/06/berney_and_pohlad_announce_apparition_malicks_tree_of_life/' target="_blank">Berney and Pohlad Announce Apparition, Malick

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Alexandre Desplat is scoring this? Oh, man, if I wasn't intrigued before, now I'm practically downright excited. I have loved quite a few of Desplat's scores, most recently the exquisitely haunting music that he wrote for The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (which also co-stars Brad Pitt, and which also involves a trip through time of sorts...). I don't know how much of Desplat's soundtrack will end up in the actual movie (for The New World, Malick famously replaced some of James Horner's music with classical recordings), but I look forward to hearing it in any case.

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Brad Pitt to Empire magazine:

When we asked him if this was a science fiction film (yes, even that is in doubt), Pitt replied, "Well, in a way. It's this little tiny story of a kid growing up in the 50s with a mother who's grace incarnate and a father who's oppressive in nature. So he is negotiating his way through it, defining who he's gonna be when he grows up. And that is juxtaposed with a little, tiny micro-story of the cosmos, from the beginning of the cosmos to the death of the cosmos. So that's where the sci-fi – or the sci-fact – comes in."

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