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Christian Bale, Terrence Malick & Arcade Fire Featured In Footage From Mystery Film Shoot At ACL

by Kevin Jagernauth
September 19, 2011 3:17 AM
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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.

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  • Felicia | July 25, 2012 4:42 PMReply

    I love Terrance and his heady films...they linger in the mind...[And he looks just like one expects.]
    Felicia Menlo Park

  • dan | November 1, 2011 8:43 AMReply

    comes across like a well staged viral.

  • Roger Allington Leach | October 16, 2011 8:13 AMReply

    I have a great idea for these liars! How about you call me on +61457350834

  • ah man! | October 1, 2011 1:20 AMReply

    If I'd known Terrence Malick would be filming at ACL, I would have been there for that alone just for the chance to tell him what his films have meant to me.

  • rodie | September 20, 2011 4:19 AMReply

    It looks like Patrick Bateman went to ACL. Can't wait to see what this all means.

  • Pierre | September 19, 2011 9:33 AMReply

    It's GOT to be something about celebrity/promoters/power players. Look at his smarmy haircut and suit!

  • K. Bowen | September 19, 2011 9:10 AMReply

    Country Strong. It's the best movie ever made. And the worst movie ever made. And everything in between.

  • I/0 | September 19, 2011 7:40 AMReply

    This is not a separate film. These are merely pickup/additional shots for the one they just wrapped in Oklahoma. Even though he couldn't play the role initially offered to him (that eventually went to Affleck), Terry wanted Bale in the picture to some degree.

  • alan | September 19, 2011 6:50 AMReply

    knowing malick's young assistant and the austinites that work with him, what you're seeing is the new malick. and this film will be unlike anything he's ever done. and he's not even done casting. :)

  • Edward Davis | September 19, 2011 5:50 AMReply

    Malick is doing nothing of the sort. He's not a dummy. He's well-aware that shooting in broad daylight with Christian Bale and a camera crew in the middle of Austin City Limits would bring on photos, videos and curiosity seekers. This is one part of the equation of that film.

  • terri | September 19, 2011 5:46 AMReply

    Malick is crying in a hot bath right now from all the pictures that were taken of him this weekend.

  • tom | September 19, 2011 4:01 AMReply


  • Glass | September 19, 2011 3:49 AMReply


    VIDEO of Terrence Malick.

    He's like cinema's Bigfoot. That's insane.

  • Benjamin | September 19, 2011 3:46 AMReply

    I never thought seeing this would be so moving. We are seeing something so rare - Malick directing in real time. These aren't spy stills, that camera phone was right up in his face and he barely flinched, though he didn't look all that pleased. What an enigma this man is.

  • Jayne | September 19, 2011 3:45 AMReply

    Maybe it's a dark take on A Star Is Born? =p Either way, it's pretty awesome seeing Malick directing! They look like they're having fun. Can't really go wrong with Bale and Malick together whatever this is. If Bale is playing the mentor, I wonder if we'll see him sing as well?

  • jon | September 19, 2011 3:44 AMReply

    That video is crazy!

  • Kevin Jagernauth | September 19, 2011 3:42 AMReply

    "Tree Of Life" was a mix of digital and film.

  • | September 19, 2011 3:40 AMReply

    I think it's noteworthy that this film is being shot on ALEXA (you can see it in that last picture). Malick has gone digital!

  • Elsa Sanchez | September 19, 2011 3:32 AMReply

    Pop diva teen sensation Cora Corman from ‘Music and Lyrics’! With his Academy Award win and the Batman franchise coming to an end, hopefully Christian Bale will do more movies from now on.

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