Terrence Malick has long been thought of as a difficult-to-work-with perfectionist. He once went a stretch of twenty years without making any movies at all, and when he is actively making them, they usually only come out once every five years or so. But lately he’s been filming things at a pace completely new to his career.

After finishing his 2011 release The Tree of Life, he jumped pretty directly into making a still-untitled romantic film starring Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams. Also, there have been rumblings that even before that film was finished, Malick had already lined up another movie that would star Christian Bale. It turns out that wasn’t all of the story, though. In somewhat shocking news, Variety is reporting that Malick already has plans to make two more movies, which will shoot back to back in 2012.

The common thread between both films is that they will star Bale and Cate Blanchett in featured roles, but this isn’t some kind of series. Both films are separate stories, completely independent of one another. The first is said to be called Lawless, and in addition to Bale and Blanchett, Ryan Gosling, Rooney Mara, and Haley Bennett will also star. The second project will be called Knight of Cups, and will see actress Isabel Lucas join the duo.

Plot details on both films are being kept secret for the moment, but hearing a Terrence Malick movie explained never actually tells you what it’s about anyway. Get ready, Malick fans, it looks like there’s going to be a lot more pretty pictures and visual metaphors coming your way soon. Let’s just hope this new change of attitude doesn’t mean he’s going to be taking on a big superhero property or making a sequel to one of his films from the 70s next. That would be too much for me to handle.

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