It’s actually happening. Terrence Malick‘s fabled Voyage of Time will arrive in theaters on October 7, 2016. At least, one version of it will. Even by Malick’s standards — a filmmaker known for his secrecy and slow-burn filmmaking process (until his recent unexpected burst of productivity, at least) — the Ennio Morricone-scored documentary Voyage of Time is one of his longest-gestating films.
It’s also probably one of his most ambitious; a far-reaching exploration of time, space and life itself…you know, the simple stuff. Here’s the official description.
VOYAGE OF TIME is a celebration of the universe, displaying the whole of time, from its start to its final collapse. This film examines all that occurred to prepare the world that stands before us now: science and spirit, birth and death, the grand cosmos and the minute life systems of our planet.
First announced seven years ago as an IMAX documentary spawned from footage from The Tree of Life, the documentary would reportedly cover the “birth and death of the universe”, exploring the history of life and the mysteries of the cosmos. In the time since, updates came intermittently throughout the years as Malick toiled away on the ambitious project and churned out an unusual three full features in the process (To The Wonder, Knight of Cups, Weightless). There was talk of a 2014 release that never happened. Then there was talk of a 2016 release.
At long last, there was some real forward motion early last year when we learned that Malick would release two versions of the film — a 40-minute IMAX cut narrated by producer Brad Pitt, and a 35mm feature-length version narrated by Cate Blanchett — with IMAX and Broad Green Pictures stepping in to complete the financing and secure distribution rights. Broad Green received first North American distribution rights after an exclusive IMAX release
Now, it’s really happening. Thanks to a detail buried deep in an IMAX press release (via One Big Soul, ht The Film Stage), we now know that Malick’s IMAX cut will debut in theaters this October, though there is no word yet on when the feature length version will arrive. For now, let’s count our blessings. This bizarre, incredibly ambitious attempt to encompass well, everything, is actually arriving in theaters, and for once, the release date is sooner than later.