Malick’s late-career resurgence—after a long, long absence my man has put out movies at an Altman-esque pace in the Obama era—has featured meandering narratives, long, heady nature shots, and abstract narration about the nature of time, space, and existence. Aside from the vague trappings of plot, these would have been perfect IMAX movies. And Malick’s next film, Voyage of Time, has done away with plot altogether and gone straight to the source—it’s an IMAX documentary about the history of the cosmos.
Some of the footage in Voyage of Time has been around for decades, and comes from an aborted Malick project called Q, which was going to tell the story of both man and space, but never got finished. Some of that footage ended up in Malick’s masterpiece Tree of Life, and some more of it will make an appearance in Voyage of Time. There will be two versions of the film. One, narrated by Brad Pitt, will be 40 minutes long and shown in IMAX, while another, narrated by Cate Blanchett, will be 90 minutes long and shown in 35mm. If the trailer is to be trusted, the narration is vintage Malick, featuring lines like, “The universe. Billions of years in the making.” Voyage of Time will be released in October, just one month before time itself ends.