Earlier this week, we reported that writer-director Terrence Malick had two new films (both starring Christian Bale) in the pipeline, which was surprising considering the huge time gap between Malick’s previous movies. But neither of the Bale movies are the follow-up to The Tree of Life. Malick’s next movie is an untitled romantic drama (previously titled The Burial) he shot last year, and 24 Frames has some new details on the plot. To begin, it’s Malick’s first movie set in the present day, and he’s currently at work editing the picture, which he expects to be finished by next year (although that doesn’t mean a distributor will release it in 2012). So what’s this mystery flick about? Philandering! Europeans! Oklahoma!
Hit the jump for more details. The film stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, Javier Bardem, Rachel Weisz, Barry Pepper, and Jessica Chastain.
Per 24 Frames, here’s the synopsis:
Basically, it concerns a philanderer (Affleck) who, feeling at loose ends, travels to Paris, where he enters a hot-and-heavy affair with a European woman (Kurylenko). Said Lothario returns home to Oklahoma, where he marries the European woman (in part for visa reasons). When the relationship flounders, he rekindles a romance with a hometown girl (McAdams) with whom he’s had a long history.
The movie reportedly features Malick’s trademark gorgeous cinematography, but unlike his other films, there’s a slightly happier ending (or at least one that’s less ambiguous). Also, reading the synopsis, it sounds like this may seem like a more mainstream movie, but you can’t discount Malick’s spin on the material. That it is to say that if I told you this was the plot for a Woody Allen movie, you would probably believe me, but I doubt there’s going to be some fun clarinet music and a neurotic protagonist.
Malick has taken years and sometimes decades between his movies, so it will be interesting to see if his approach or style changes based on having three movies in various stages of development. Of course, there’s no guarantee that one of the movies won’t keep him in the editing room (editing on Days of Heaven took over two years).