Ever since running that TREE OF LIFE story last night (most of which was essentially purloined from Jeffrey Wells's Hollywood Elsewhere), I've been receiving emails from people who've "heard things" about what Terrence Malick is up to in Austin, Texas. I'm still trying to clarify/verify some of these tips, but the scoop that hit my inbox a few minutes ago is so big, it deserves its own story.
Visual f/x legend Douglas Trumbull is working on THE TREE OF LIFE.
In what capacity? Is he assisting Mike Fink on the dinosaur footage? I don't know just yet. But he has been seen knocking around Austin with Malick's crew, and I can confirm that he has been shooting footage of some sort fairly recently. Personally, I hope he's involved with the NASA-shot sequences that will allegedly be included in the IMAX movie.
And when I say "IMAX movie", I mean a whole second movie. That's right, we'll be getting two new Malick movies in the next year or so: the first is THE TREE OF LIFE (which one source tells me is "massive"); the other will be an "IMAX-only" feature depicting the birth and death of the universe. It's important to note that these films are not narratively connected; to the best of my knowledge, they're thematically complementary pieces. Hopefully, I'll be able to elaborate on this by the end of the week (though I'd kinda like to stay a little vague on the details if only to preserve the air of mystery that's surrounding this production).
But Douglas Trumbull, the visual f/x pioneer who collaborated with Stanley Kubrick on 2001 and Steven Spielberg on CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, will be receiving his first feature credit since Ridley Scott's BLADE RUNNER directing BRAINSTORM. On a Terrence Malick film. It doesn't get any cooler than that, folks!
Thanks to "Heywood Floyd" and "John Galt" for getting in touch.