Rooney Mara Says Terrence Malick Will Shoot LAWLESS in September; Michael Sheen Reveals Role in Malick’s Untitled Drama

     December 28, 2011

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Terrence Malick has three movies in the works, and the timeline on when each will be shot/released is fuzzy.  The untitled romantic drama starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams is up first, though we don’t know release date (or even year) yet.  We have seen Malick filming Christian Bale for Knight of Cups and working with Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara for Lawless, but international distributor FilmNation announced these two films will shoot back to back in 2012.  Mara clarified the picture in a recent interview:

“[Lawless is] something that I hope to do, but it’s unfortunately not until September, so it’s a ways away.”

That timeline implies the plan is to shoot Knight of Cups earlier in the year, followed by production on Lawless.  Given how much time Malick generally spends in post-production, I imagine the director will spend a lot of 2012 in the editing room for the Affleck/McAdams drama.  The Tree of Life ended up in theaters a year and a half after the initially announced Christmas 2009 release date.  I expect similar delays for at least one of these projects.  More after the jump.

rooney-mara-imageThe Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is underperforming at the box office, though critical support—especially for Mara’s performance—is solid, so the high profile movie will likely still accelerate Mara’s career path.  However, she tells EW that she does not have a follow-up project lined up yet.  Lawless could be next, though Mara can only commit to the Malick film being something she “hopes” to do, a prospect that excites her:

“He’s one of the great filmmakers out there. After working with David [Fincher], it’s really hard—the bar has been set at sort of an unreachable height. I want to work with people who have a vision and who are uncompromising in the way that they make films, and Terry is one of those people. He’s incredible. He’s one of the nicest people I’ve ever come into contact with.”

Of course, Mara can’t say anything about the story of the movie.  As she puts it:

“I’m not going to give away his secrets.”

Michael Sheen TRON: LEGACY PremiereIn other Malick news, Michael Sheen revealed to Mark Kermode and Simon Mayo [via The Playlist] that he shot a scene for the untitled drama:

“My girlfriend [McAdams] was in a film that Terrence Malick did so I went to visit her on set, and apparently, if you’re an actor and you turn up on a Terrence Malick set, he asks you to be in his film. So I got to be Ben Affleck’s boss for a day.”

Sheen is a nice addition to the already great cast of Affleck, McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, and Jessica Chastain.  Neat insight into Malick’s process, too.  The director is known for removing characters in post-productions: Billy Bob Thornton, Martin Sheen, Gary Oldman, Bill Pullman, Lukas Haas, Jason Patric, Viggo Mortensen, and Mickey Rourke all shot scenes for The Thin Red Line that were edited out by the final cut.  Sheen’s role sounds like a very good candidate for the cutting room floor, but we’ll see.

So there you go.  No big revelations, but a bit of context and texture for Malick’s upcoming slate.

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