By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist September 19, 2011 at 3:17AM
Listen, you can keep your footage from the set of "The Dark Knight Rises" shoot and we'll just geek out over this instead. In case you missed it, over the weekend attentive attendees of the Austin City Limits Music Festival were in for a surprise when Christian Bale and Terrence Malick were spotted shooting a film on the grounds. Well, that was just the tip of the iceberg as a plethora of new footage and pics have landed and while we still have no idea what they are working on, the rare opportunity to see video Terrence Malick working on a film set is pretty great.
Japanese fan blog Bale Takentai=Nisshi 3rd has compiled a wealth of material including: Bale and Malick shooting while bands like Arcade Fire and Iron & Wine play on; a tweet revealing Bale got on stage to play bongos with Fleet Foxes (WTF); as well as some snaps of newcomer Haley Bennett in the film as well. ACLMike also got a great pic of the actress as well. But what the hell is this thing he's even shooting? Who the hell knows. As usual, everything about the production is being kept under wraps.
Malick has been circling a music movie for long time though, penning his own version of "Great Balls of Fire" back in the 1980s about Jerry Lee Lewis, with his script described by producer Adam Fields as “much darker” than the finished film. The director is also known for his projects evolving and changing shape through the years so could this be a mutation of that script/project? Perhaps. It should be noted that Bale does bear a striking resemblance to some kind of hybrid of Johnny Cash and Roy Orbison in these pictures given his head-to-toe black outfit. If we were to take a random, wild stab in the dark, perhaps Bale is playing a mentor to Bennett who plays an up-and-coming musician? Again, just a wild guess. Hell, this may not be music centered movie at all. However, this project isn't entirely new. Back in the spring, word cropped up that Malick had notified his team to keep their summer and fall calendars open for a shoot on a new film and we'd wager this is it. Moreover, it was said “he expects to be finished with this one in a matter of months” although we'll believe that when we see it.
So, is Malick making the artiest music festival docu-drama of all time? "Country Strong 2"? A hybrid remake of "Nine Songs" and "You Instead"? Or is this an insane, third act plot twist to "The Dark Knight Rises" with Malick shooting 2nd unit (we're joking guys). Whatever it is, we're sure that these pics and vids are only just a small fraction of whatever it is Malick will ultimately put together. Also, the filmmaker and his tiny crew likely knew they would be spotted which easily explains why they let fans take snaps and whip out their cellphone cameras as they worked. But mostly, the idea of Malick chilling and listening to "Helplessness Blues" is kind of great.