The Terrence Malick we all grew up with was known for making one heavy, introspective movie every eight years or so, and doing God knows what in the interim period. But those days are behind Malick. The Tree of Life was all anybody was talking about in the days between Black Swan and the OWS protests, which might be the prompt for the director to churn out two new films right away. Malick is currently working on Lawless (hopefully a Xena biopic...but, whatever it really is will probably also be good) and Knight of Cups (named presumably for the tarot card character). If the prospect of two upcoming Malick films is not enticing enough for you, listen to the casting: Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett are set to star in both movies.
Lawless will also star Ryan Gosling, breakout heroine Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett (Marley & Me). Knight of Cups' cast will include Isabel Lucas, who had a role in Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and the upcoming Immortals.
Bale and Blanchett aside, Malick is clearly interested in newcomers to Hollywood notoriety. Before this (very fruitful) year, Gosling was primarily known as "that guy from The Notebook;" the actor has barely begun a career that promises a good deal of adventurous surprises. Mara is in the same boat. Her name is becoming more and more house-held, and perhaps this immediate plunge into a cerebral Malick film will ensure that this great young actress does not become solely identifiable by her Dragon Tattoo role. As for Bennett and Lucas, we have yet to see the full range of their ability. Hopefully, and very likely, Lawless and Knight of Cups will give all involved a chance to expand their image and showcase their talent.