Here We Go Again: Malick and “The Tree of Life”

I know, I know, I’m late to this party.

But I’m not really. I reported on Terrence Malick’s Tree of Life project ages ago, and was quickly corrected and informed that I was merely perpetuating rumors about a project that was abandoned long ago.

Forgive me if I’m a little gun-shy on this: But now, news sources all over the place are reporting that Heath Ledger and Sean Penn are “in talks” to star in this mysterious endeavor, with Malick at the helm. I’m sure that many will start speculating about the resemblance between this story and Aronofsky’s The Fountain, but I trust Malick.

So, I’ll accept that as “permission to proceed” with news about the project.

And for those who chopped me off at the knees for bringing this up before, I will play you one of my favorite clips of Jeff Bridges in The Fisher King: “Forgiiiiiiiiiiiiiive me!

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About Jeffrey Overstreet

Jeffrey Overstreet has two passions: writing fiction, and celebrating art — music, cinema, photography, literature — through writing and teaching. He is the author of a “memoir of dangerous moviegoing” — Through a Screen Darkly. And his four-novel fantasy series, The Auralia Thread, which begins with Auralia's Colors, was published by Random House. He speaks at universities and conferences around the world about understanding art through eyes of faith. He is earning his MFA in Creative Writing at Seattle Pacific University, where he has worked for 11 years as an editor, writer, and communications project manager. His work has been recognized in The New Yorker, TIME, The Seattle Times, IMAGE, Ravi Zacharias International — and Christianity Today, where he served as a film journalist for more than a decade. He recently began a weekly column called "Listening Closer" for Christ and Pop Culture.

  • mrmando

    Halloween prize? Do I get to name it?

    Let’s see … Jeffrey comes trick-or-treating to my door, dressed as the title character from his book. How’s that?

  • Jeffrey Overstreet


    Now I will revise the original post to have the proper sarcastic reply.

  • mrmando

    “Excuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuse me!“ was Steve Martin.

    “ForGIVE me” was Jeff Bridges (and, later, Harry Shearer) in The Fisher King.

  • Phillip

    I’m expecting more out of Malick’s film than I did from The Fountain. The images of Aronofsky’s film seemed a bit too “manufactured” for me whereas I’m almost certain Malick’s visuals will have that rapturous, lush, natural quality that we’ve come to expect from him.

  • scandalon

    According to IMDb Pro, Malick began work on this film way back in 1978, under the title of Q. He must be anxious to see this project to fruition…