It has been a good year to be a Terrence Malick fan. Not only did the director finally deliver is long-awaited “The Tree Of Life,” he’s simply never been busier with four projects currently in the works: the Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams-led, untitled romance; “Lawless” with Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennet; “Knight Of Cups” with Bale, Blanchett and Isabel Lucas; and the documentary “The Voyage Of Time.” And while we patiently wait for these films to arrive whenever Malick decides they are done, it looks like we’ll have something to tide us over.
Malick’s first film “Badlands” — which still remains the favorite for many followers of the director — is the least well-represented on DVD, with only a barebones release currently available. But all that will likely soon change. In an interview with All Things Shining Malick’s longtime editor Billy Weber reveals that plans are afoot for a brand new release. “Warner Bros. or Criterion is putting out a new version of ‘Badlands’ fairly soon,” he stated plainly. Weber also says he’s recorded a commentary track for a British reissue of the film, but is unsure if it will be used or not in the stateside release.
Either way, this is some pretty exciting news and if we were to guess, we’d wager Criterion — who have already released fantastic editions of “Days Of Heaven” and “The Thin Red Line” — will get their hands on it (and internet rumors seem to suggest this is the way the wind is blowing). At least we hope so, but as yet, there is no word on what the extras will be. But that’s not all.
Over the summer, cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki teased about “The Tree Of Life” that “Terry is working on/preparing a 6-hour-long version of the movie.” He went on to say that this longer cut would focus on the children and added that they shot “many things about Jack’s childhood: his friends, his evolution, his changes, his awareness of the loss of his childhood.” Well, this longer cut is indeed real, and while Weber is sparing with details, he does confirm that it is happening.
“I know Terry is doing a longer cut of ‘Tree,’ but we had so many scenes that were cut out that it wouldn’t be that hard to put together a longer version. Other than that, I really don’t know what he is going to put back in, but I’m sure that it will be interesting.”
This is some great news, but of course, if/when it ever sees the light of day (especially with the zillion other things Malick is working on) remains to be seen, and we won’t be surprised if we’re waiting years (if it even manages to get finished and screened). And if you’re holding out hope that at some point, footage that was cut from any of Malick’s other films might see the light of day, you might want to park that thought: Weber tells the blog it no longer exists.
But a new “Badlands” DVD and a potentially bladder-crushing “The Tree Of Life”? Yeah, we’re down with that. And while you wait, the entire interview is worth a read as Weber dispels many of the myths surrounding the making of Malick’s films.