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First Official Still Of Christian Bale & Natalie Portman In Terrence Malick's 'Knight Of Cups'

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by Oliver Lyttelton
May 15, 2013 7:11 AM
10 Comments
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We were a bit depressed about the reception to "To The Wonder." When Terrence Malick's latest premiered in Venice last year, we found it beguiling and beautiful, and arguably superior to his previous picture "The Tree Of Life." But the critical consensus didn't agree with us, and the film picked up some harsh notices, and in the month since it was released, has made only $500,000 at the U.S. box office.

But we can't imagine that Malick has noticed; the reclusive auteur has since wrapped not just one, but two new movies, and the first official glimpse has arrived of the first of them, with The Hollywood Reporter debuting a still from "Knight of Cups." Featuring Christian Bale and Natalie Portman on a beach together (a set up that should be familiar to connoissuers of the set photos), it's not giving much away, but it's good to know that the film is still ticking along -- to the extent that footage will apparently be screened to foreign distributors at Cannes this week.

The film is, according to backers FilmNation, "a story of man, temptations, celebrity and excess," and Cate Blanchett, Isabel Lucas, Antonio Banderas, Wes Bentley, Imogen Poots, Freida Pinto, Teresa Palmer, Ryan O'Neal, Jason Clarke, Joel Kinnaman and Shea Whigham were among those who featured on set at various points, though lord knows which of them will make the final cut. Will we also soon see a glimpse of Malick's other picture, a picture set in the Texas music industry, possibly linked to "Knight of Cups," that features Ryan Gosling, Michael Fassbender, Rooney Mara, Benicio Del Toro, Holly Hunter, Val Kilmer and Berenice Marlohe alongside Bale, Blanchett and Portman?

Who knows, but don't take this image as a sign that either film will be along any time soon; Malick's hardly hasty in the cutting room, and is apparently editing five different pictures at the moment, and eighteen months separated the first image from "To The Wonder" from its Venice premiere. Either way, "Knight of Cups," whenever it arrives, should be more accessible than its predecessor, as Malick's regular editor Billy Weber told us recently. Stay tuned for any more Malick-related tidbits that might sneak out during the festival in the next ten days or so.


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10 Comments

  • Serena | May 19, 2013 12:17 PMReply

    If there's one thing I've learned from Terrence Malick buzz, it's that the clip this still samples likely won't even make it into the finished product.

  • Jonny | May 15, 2013 1:14 PMReply

    That picture is art.

  • oogle monster2 | May 15, 2013 12:19 PMReply

    The Tree of Life is one of the best films of the decade. To The Wonder, unfortunately, is Malick's least accomplished... and most twirly.

  • Glass | May 15, 2013 8:53 AMReply

    Does his other movie have a new title yet? I think that's the one which used to be called 'Lawless'...

  • P. | May 15, 2013 8:43 AMReply

    The Natalie Portman fansite gave the information that Natalie Portman was on the set of Knight of Cups for only one week. I doubt she's the female lead, as this pic seem to suggest. They did the same with To The Wonder and Rachel McAdams, who ended up having little more than a cameo.
    If there's a female lead in KoC, I would say it could possibly be Isabel Lucas, because she seemed to have filmed for a longer time than all the other actresses and there are a lot more pics of her on set...

  • Anya | May 15, 2013 8:19 AMReply

    To The Wonder bored me to tears... I can't take Olga Kurylenko seriously anymore. All through Oblivion (which also bored me to tears) I kept expecting her to start skipping and twirling. Oh gosh, the twirling. I hope I never have to see another actress twirling in a field, twirling on the beach, twirling in her living room, twirling in Paris...

    Anyway, I'll watch his next films because the cast is always amazing and I feel stupid because I haven't liked any of his movies and maybe one day something will switch in me and I'll understand them. Maybe I'll start twirling, even.

  • joey | May 15, 2013 1:12 PM

    I'm still so baffled by all this twirl complaining. I've seen the film three times... and while there's certainly a bit of twirling, it's far less excessive than people make it out to be. It's also justified in that her character used to be a dancer, and she obviously represents a very particular worldview / approach to life, etc. I'm also confused cuz Olga is beautiful and one hell of a twirler when she does do it. If that's what's ruining the movie for you, then you're watching the wrong movie.

  • JD | May 15, 2013 8:55 AM

    Anya that is the main reason I didnt see To The Wonder because after watching the Tree of Life, I couldnt take any more twirling. I do hope that Olga was better in To the Wonder then she was in Oblivion because all she did in the latter film was look stupid.

  • Claud Jehu | May 15, 2013 7:57 AMReply

    A couple galloping around on a beach...no surprises there. I love Terrence Malick, and 'To the Wonder' had some moments of emotional resonance, but most of the film bordered on a parody of his own style. I wish he would stop relying on the same things: prancing about in prairies and beaches, shooting everything at dusk, the laughable student-poetry voice-overs. He runs the risk of undermining his early work by taking the same style too far.

  • Gatsby | May 16, 2013 7:28 AM

    S**t Claud, well said. You have me scared now and I have yet to see To the Wonder...

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