As with every Terrence Malick project it feels like it’s been in post-production for years (probably because most of them actually are) but his previously untitled romance has officially been given a title and a rating. The title had long been mooted as ‘The Burial’ but it seems all indications were wrong and it is fact named To The Wonder. Given what’s known about the plot it seems an odd choice but it certainly doesn’t dampen my excitement (not that anything could).

Thanks to the Classifications & Rating Administration (CARA) we now know that the film is called To The Wonder, and has been rated R for “some sexuality/nudity.

The story centers on a man, played by Ben Affleck, who travels to Paris and enters a passionate affair with a European woman (Olga Kurylenko). He returns home, where he marries the European woman (in part for visa reasons) but then the relationship starts to fall apart. He winds up rekindling a romance with a hometown girl (Rachel McAdams) with whom he’s had a long history. What’s more exciting is that early word on the film said it was even more experimental than mixed-reviewed The Tree Of Life. It’s certainly not short on stars with the cast also including Javier Bardem, Barry Pepper, Rachel Weisz, Michael Sheen and, potentially, a cameo from Jessica Chastain. Phew.

This summer sees the now prolific film-maker shoot both Lawless (expect this to be retitled thanks to this Lawless) and Knight of Cups back to back. Malick’s long-time production designer Jack Fisk had indicated a June 2012 start date for filming so that would mean he’s going to be busy this summer and probably not in the editing suite for To The Wonder. Has he locked in a final cut already? Or are there, as per normal, substantial tweaks to be made?

Although no deals have been made thus far, footage from To The Wonder has screened for domestic buyers. The film does have both Canadian and UK distribution deals and it could be Malick is waiting for a festival before shaking hands with a distributor in the U.S. Will it sneak a surprise screening at Cannes? Who knows.

Bottom line, will we see To The Wonder this year? I doubt it; this is one small step for the cinematic world but nevertheless a giant leap for a project from the reclusive Terrence Malick.

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