Sometimes that gift horse should not have his mouth inspected. Today FilmNation has announced that Terrence Malick will be shooting two films next year, on top of the two films he supposedly shot this year (maybe one was footage for one of these), both starring Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett and 2011 poster boy Ryan Gosling. For a director who took nearly two decades to return to cinema, this is unprecedented.

The film film is called Lawless and will star Gosling, Bale, Blanchett, Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett. The second film is called Knight of Cups, and features Bale, Blanchett, and Isabella Lucas. This is on top of the untitled project he directed that stars Ben Affleck, Rachel Weisz and Javier Bardem.
The first thought is that a fire got lit under Malick’s hindquarters something fierce. There’s also still talk of of IMAX documentary type thing that involves the history of the earth (an extension of some of the footage in Tree of Life), though perhaps it’s that he’s got the financing he needs, and between vaulted reputation and a behind the scenes crew he’s been working with for a couple years now, perhaps the machine is so well oiled that he feels he can just keep working. Or perhaps Malick wants to try to be prodigious and see how that reflects on his art. It’s nothing he’s tried before, that’s for sure.

What do you think changed Malick’s approach?