Cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki tells Cahiers du Cinema that a much longer version of Tree of Life could be coming.
Terry is working on/preparing a 6 hours long version of the movie. What I’ve seen (of this) is absolutely incredible, it’s wonderful. The longer version will have to/will likely, for the most part, relate to the children part. There were outstanding things, we’ve shot many, many things about Jack’s childhood : his friends, his evolution, his changes, his awareness of the loss of his childhood. I don’t know if I’m supposed to say all of this!
That’s pretty huge. Russ Fischer at Slashfilm does some math based on figures that Lubezki gives about how much film they shot on the film, and he estimates there could be up to 364 HOURS of film shot for Tree of Life. Lubezki says the original cut was eight hours long.
I have to imagine that there’s more Sean Penn as well; Penn’s baffling bookend pieces seem to have been the most impacted by Malick’s tendency to trim and cut and snip and move things around. Still, the kid section is the very best part of the movie (and still the best part of any movie this year), so I’m certainly up for more of it.
The question, of course, is when Malick would find the time to make this version of the film. He’s actually moved on to his next project, which qualifies as breakneck movie making in Malickland.