By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 22, 2011 at 1:56AM
It has been a while since we've heard anything concrete about Terrence Malick's next film, the untitled romantic drama (also known as "The Burial") starring Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Rachel Weisz, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Barry Pepper, Charles Baker and in a small role, Jessica Chastain. Aside from the (curiously way early) first look photo that you see above, not much has been heard about the project other than the fact that it has been described (rather vaguely) as being even more experimental than "The Tree Of Life." Details on the plot have been scarce, and while some bits and pieces leaked last fall, who knows what shape it will take after Malick has finished with it in the editing room. But if this next bit of news sticks, it will mark the first time in the director's career he's had films arrive back-to-back in two years.
Rounding up their slate for next year, Screen Daily reveals that U.K. shingle Optimum Releasing has snagged the rights to Malick's upcoming film. Now don't get too excited because there is no firm release date set yet and more importantly, remember that the first release date for "The Tree Of Life" was December 25, 2009 -- only for the film to actually hit theaters a year and a half later. So while rights are beginning to be sold and the film tentatively placed on a schedule, it doesn't really mean anything until someone wrests the cannisters from Malick's hands. And in case you're wondering, there's no word yet on who will handle the film in the U.S.
That said, it's something and a least a sign that ducks are being put in a row. Will Malick make a return trip to Cannes next year? Certainly you can bet that Thierry Freamaux will be pushing for that to happen, but Malick moves to his own impulses -- he was still shooting scenes for the film as recently as this past May -- so who knows how it will play out. At the very least, an experimental Malick film centered around romance? The possibilities are endlessly exciting so we don't have to tell you how eager we are to see what direction he moves in next.
But that's not all on the horizon from the suddenly busy director either. He's still working on his "Voyage Of Time" IMAX documentary with more shooting to take place and he's got another new, secretive project that may be shooting this summer. Looks like cinema's most mysterious voice still has lots to say.