Since winning Best Actress at the Academy Awards for her performance in Black Swan, Natalie Portman has stepped out of the spotlight to be a mom. But now it’s time to get back to work, and the actress has set up two back-to-back projects with the same director: none other than Terrence Malick, whose Tree of Life is up for Best Picture at this year’s Oscars and has garnered him a nomination for Best Director. I think it’s safe to say there will be a certain amount of prestige attached to these films.
First up is Knight of the Cups, which co-stars Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and…Isabel Lucas (let’s play a game – which of these actors doesn’t seem to belong here?). Nobody knows much about this one – other than it shoots this summer – but suffice it to say that any Malick movie is going to be highly anticipated among the cinephile community. And immediately following will be a film called Lawless, which co-stars Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett (sound familiar?), Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett. Some filming for this was done at last year’s Austin City Limits music festival, but we’re not sure if that was just some kind of character research or if we’ll end up seeing any of that footage in the final cut.
The Playlist brings up an interesting point: though Knight of the Cups and Lawless were initially announced as individual projects, the casting of Portman, Bale, and Blanchett leaves us wondering whether there may be some connection after all. Don’t expect much as far as answers go any time soon; Malick’s projects are almost always shrouded in secrecy.
Malick clearly wants to scratch a filmmaking itch that has been building up for years by taking on so many projects this quickly. There was a five year gap between The New World and Tree of Life, and now he’s got these two projects, plus another one that stars Ben Affleck, Rachel Weisz, and Javier Bardem that’s presumably finished but still without a title or release date.