Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life Finally Has a Distributor!
by Alex Billington
August 7, 2009
This is great news for fans of Terrence Malick! Yesterday it was announced that Bill Pohlad and Bob Berney had launched a new distribution company called Apparition (read the press release). The first two films on their slate are Jane Campion's romance Bright Star (watch the trailer) and Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life, which has remained mysteriously under the radar for years. Buried within this Variety article is this little nugget of news: "Tree of Life, which hasn't been dated but will be released around the year-end holiday season. The 2009 bow is interesting since Malick is famous for long post-production periods."
We're obviously not going to believe it until Apparition actually announces a release date and puts out marketing material, but our bet is that they wouldn't go so far as to include The Tree of Life in their initial press release if they weren't actually planning to release it sometime this year. Pohlad says of their new company: "The goal here was to create a company that can be a real home for filmmakers. A company that has a sensitivity and passion for the work as well as an ability to bring it to the marketplace with ingenuity and creativity." And obviously "working with filmmakers like Terrence Malick and Jane Campion right out of the gate is a great indication of the kinds of relationships that we hope this company will be built on."
In somewhat related news, our friends at The Playlist also uncovered some details on Malick's counterpart IMAX documentary Voyage of Time that goes hand-in-hand with The Tree of Life (and was developed at the same time). This is partially where all the confusion regarding Malick's latest film has come from. Voyage of Time is actually the documentary that features dinosaurs and is about the birth and death of the universe. In that previous article, Mike Fink had been misquoted saying that he was working on Tree of Life, not Voyage of Time (which is what he actually was working on), which fill feature narration from Brad Pitt.
Anyway, the whole point of this update is that, as long as everything goes according to plan with Apparition, we might actually see Terrence Malick's The Tree of Life later this year. But of course, we're not holding our breath, as Malick is notorious for delays in order to finish post-production, and who knows how long that'll take. But at least there is a glimmer of hope and at least it now has a distributor who is dedicated to putting it sooner or later. But hopefully that means by the end of this year, and not next, but only time will tell!