Christian Bale latest victim to not make final cut of a Terrence Malick film. Here are the others.

terrence-malick-song-to-song-ryan-gosling-michael-fassbender-rooney-mara-natalie-portman-456Song to SongSong to Song

Terrence Malick never leaves his "prisoners" unharmed. Since 1998 he has cut major movie stars out of his movies in, almost, recurring fashion: Adrian Brody, Bill Pullman, Mickey Rourke, Billy Bob Thornton, Gary Oldman, Viggo Mortensen, Martin Sheen, Jason Patric all had roles that were cut or drastically reduced in 1998's "The Thin Red Line," Christopher Plummer had a much bigger role that ended up in the cutting room floor in "The New World" ditto Jessica Chastain whose role got completely scrapped in "To The Wonder," and, most famously, Sean Penn in "The Tree of Life."

I don't really have much sympathy for any actors being cut from his films after what we saw happen during the editing process of "The Thin Red Line." It is quite obvious that Malick creates his movies in the editing room. He seems to make movies the same way a jazz musician would improvise his solo on-stage or in the studio. 

Christian Bale is the latest victim in the Malick death sentence in his latest film entitled "Song to Song."

"Arcade Fire, Iron & Wine, and Fleet Foxes are among the artists who were filmed but didn't end up in the movie. They're in good company, though: Christian Bale also shot scenes that didn't make the final cut. (Alas, we won't get to see that long-rumored scene of Christian Bale playing the bongos with Fleet Foxes after all.)"

A few Juicy quotes from the stars mentioned above reacting to their roles being cut:

Adrian Brody:

"I was so focused and professional, I gave everything to it, and then to not receive everything…in terms of witnessing my own work. It was extremely unpleasant because I’d already begun the press for a film that I wasn’t really in. Terry obviously changed the entire concept of the film. I had never experienced anything like that…" He went on to suggest that Malick’s own status as a filmmaker may be rather inflated: "You know the expression ‘Don’t believe the hype’? Well, you shouldn’t."

Christopher Plummer:

"I love some of his movies very much, but the problem with Terry is he needs a writer, desperately. He insists on overwriting until it sounds terribly pretentious… and he edits his films in such a way that he cuts everyone out of them… I was put in all sorts of different spots and suddenly my character was not in the scene that I thought I was in, in the editing room. It was very strange. It completely unbalances everything. And a very emotional scene that I had suddenly became background noise."

Sean Penn:

"I didn’t at all find on the screen the emotion of the script, which is the most magnificent one that I’ve ever read. A clearer and more conventional narrative would have helped the film without, in my opinion, lessening its beauty and its impact. Frankly, I’m still trying to figure out what I’m doing there and what I was supposed to add in that context! What’s more, Terry himself never managed to explain it to me clearly.


Song to Song kicks of SXSW on March 10th and opens in NY and LA on March 17th.
I won't be able to see it here in Boston until March 21st when it screens for the press at the Boston Common.