With the recent news that Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups would have its world premiere at the Berlin Film Festival in February, FilmNation Entertainment has also released the first trailer for the movie. Before recent plot revelations (and now, the trailer), the movie had been clouded in mystery due to the reclusive creative process of director Malick. Knight of Cups will star Christian Bale (Exodus: Gods and Kings), Natalie Portman (Thor: The Dark World), Cate Blanchett (The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies), Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire), and Antonio Banderas (Automata).
While the film boasts a large and impressive cast list – other names include Imogen Poots (Need for Speed), Jason Clarke (Dawn of the Planet of the Apes), Wes Bentley (Interstellar), Nick Offerman (22 Jump Street), Joe Manganiello (Sabotage), Teresa Palmer (Warm Bodies) and Joel Kinnaman (Robocop) – it is not assured that all those names will make the final cut of the film. Malick has been known to drastically reduce or completely omit certain characters from his films in the past.
Knight of Cups follows a man (Bale) journeying through the decadence and indulgence of his celebrity lifestyle and the relationships he builds and destroys because of his personal demons and tendency for self-destruction. The film is Malick’s first trip to the Berlin Film Festival since he won The Golden Bear for 1999’s The Thin Red Line.
The trailer sees a lot of the typical Malick tropes – cryptic, almost whispered narration with long, elegant tracking shots, and a continued fascination with aquatic sequences – but it also delves into some unfamiliar territory for the director. The urban setting – decidedly different than the rural midwest that Malick typically explores – sees Malick exploring strip clubs, photo shoots, trashy hotels, grandiose mansions, and opulent parties.
Terrence Malick also has another untitled project slated to be released this year (surprising for a director that sometimes takes a decade in between films), which is also set to star Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, and Natalie Portman, as well as Michael Fassbender (Frank), although not much is known about that release.