It’s not hard to believe that Terrence Malick is releasing two films in 2017—he takes years to edit his features, so it could just happen that he finishes two at the same time. But what’s curious about Malick’s 2017 releases is that one was shot in 2012, and the other was shot in 2016. Meaning Malick has finally gotten around to a normal post-production schedule on one of his features.
Song to Song is the one shot in 2012, but the movie that shot in 2016 is the World War II-set drama Radegund, and the first image from that pic has been unveiled. The script, by Malick, is based on the true story of Franz Jaegerstaetter (played by August Diehl in the film), who was an Austrian farmer who refused to fight for the Third Reich when Austria was annexed in 1938.
The ensemble for the film includes Matthias Schoenaerts, Michael Nyqvist, Bruno Ganz, Jurgen Prochnow, and others, which is a change of pace from the star-studded casts that Malick has assembled for his past few features. Indeed, Radegund promises to be quite different as the film is reportedly much more tightly scripted than Malick’s work post-The New World. On that film, the director was experimenting with improvisation, and Tree of Life, To the Wonder, and Knight of Cups took that further by operating without a full script, and instead shooting scenes on the fly. That explains the long post-production periods for those films—Malick was literally making them in the editing room—but with Radgegund poised for release this year, one imagines this is a more traditional narrative.
Malick obviously ventured into World War II previously to stellar results with The Thin Red Line, which earned a number of Oscar nominations including Best Picture. This first image, released via Variety, gives us a look at Diehl’s character. Yet another fascinating piece of information about Radegund is that it’s not shot by Malick’s usual cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki. Instead, Jörg Widmer, who has served as a camera operator on every Malick film since The New World, took the DP reins.
Check out the image below. Radegund does not yet have a release date.