Terrence Malick's Tree of Life Has IMAX-Sized Dinosaurs?!

March 2, 2009
Source: Hollywood Elsewhere

King Kong T-Rex Dinosaur

Okay, so maybe this isn't as shocking as we're making it out to be, but it's an interesting discovery. Jeffrey Wells of Hollywood Elsewhere recently pointed out an excerpt from Empire's latest issue where it mentions that director Terrence Malick's newest film, the ambitious Tree of Life, will feature dinosaurs. But before we get into all of that, I think we need a quick recap on The Tree of Life, which is Malick's fifth film following The New World in 2005. It stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, but we don't know much about the plot, besides this synopsis: "The evolution of a young man in 1950s Midwest to a disillusioned adult."

There is a much longer and more confusing synopsis that can be found on Wikipedia, but it really doesn't seem to have to do anything with dinosaurs. So what the heck is going on? As far as we know, The Tree of Life will take place in the American midwest during the 1950s (for the most part), but that still doesn't clear up anything. Here's the full quote from visual effects artist Mike Fink in the latest issue of Empire:

"We're just starting work on a project for Terrence Malick, animating dinosaurs, the film is The Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. It'll be showing in IMAX -- so the dinosaurs will actually be life size -- and the shots of the creatures will be long and lingering."

There's a theory that Jeffrey Wells and others have been kicking around about Malick digging up some old ideas from a project he had written in 1991 after Days of Heaven called simply Q. The story involved a creature that dreams about the evolution of the universe, however, I still don't know, or understand, how exactly that might play into The Tree of Life. And what does that title even have to do with a troubled kid anyway? Obviously this news doesn't mean we're going to see something like Terrence Malick's Jurassic Park, but I'm curious what the story is about and/or why the concept will involve dinosaurs.

The last I heard, The Tree of Life was headed to Cannes this May, where it will make its worldwide debut before hitting theaters later this year. This film also doesn't even have a US distributor yet, which makes me slightly unsure of some of these details. That bit about IMAX is also very confusing, because I know for certain that there is only one other IMAX film that hasn't been announced yet, and I know it will be a September/October film. But out of everything I can think of this year, The Tree of Life is something I doubt we'd see in IMAX. What do you make of this? Does anyone know some real information?

Find more posts: Discuss, Movie News, Rumors



"Does anyone know some real information?" Ahahaha. This has gotta be one of my favorites on FirstShowing. I don't know what Malick has up his sleeve (again: who does?) but I can't wait. I love the confusion (thanks Fink).

a horse on Mar 2, 2009


A tweet from Devin Faraci's twitter says it best: "I find it really amusing that a lot of people who wouldn't usually care about a Malick film are into him for dinosaurs now."

Colin on Mar 2, 2009


I don't care. New Terrence Malick film! Yeah!

Timothy on Mar 2, 2009


Sounds interesting and if it is on IMAX than it at least has to be halfway decent. I wonder if IMAX has any say what will be shown on their screens because so far (well, maybe DAY THE EARTH STOD STILL), everything on IMAX is usually pretty damn good.

Ryan on Mar 2, 2009


Sorry about the double post.

Colin on Mar 2, 2009


i'm sure whatever Malick does, it will be breathtaking on IMAX.

sean on Mar 2, 2009


Thinking over this, I find it sort of hard to believe. By all accounts, I don't see how in the world dinosaurs would fit into this film.

Timothy on Mar 2, 2009


It'd be like having a dinosaur in Revolutionary Road or something.

Timothy on Mar 2, 2009


I bet it's some imaginary world or dream that Sean Penn's character goes to, it says he's a disallusioned so maybe he's a big dreamer or something.

Scott McHenry on Mar 2, 2009


Malick's movies are wayyyyy too boring for my liking, and I watch everything!

Conrad on Mar 2, 2009


I was kinda hoping Malick would just do a dinosaur movie. It would be great.

Greedo the Rodian on Mar 2, 2009


Pitt,Penn & Dinasours hmmm...Interesting.

Fisherr on Mar 3, 2009


I hope Smithsonian Imax carries this when it comes out. It would be a great setting for it.

tzarinna on Mar 3, 2009


Malick has made one good movie and three average movies. Expect a disappointment. He had flash of brilliance in the 70's but, he's well past his artistic prime. Look at all the crap Scorsece's made since Raging Bull. Malicks a wiz with the camera but, he's ideas are for books not film.

Rinc on Mar 9, 2009


Dinosaurs are the only way Terrence Malick can ever make anything that's not a plodding snoozefest. Oh, wait, he'll still manage to make it unexciting.

Glass on Jun 6, 2010

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