It looks like one of Terrence Malick's oldest problems may cost him in court. A financing company that committed $3.5 million to a long-delayed Malick movie is suing his Sycamore Pictures now that it seems their movie will never come to fruition.
Seven Seas Partnership filed a lawsuit in a New York federal court on Friday after funding Malick's major project and coming away with "nothing to show for it." Seven Seas committed $3.5 million to fund part of Malick's Voyage of Time, a project that was supposed to produce two 45 minute Imax movies and a full feature film "portray[ing] the events of our cosmic history, as well as the state of the earth now and the prospects for its future." But the movie was supposed to finish filming on May 1, 2012, and very little progress had been made.
Malick told Seven Seas they had planned for shooting locations in Hawaii, Iceland, Monterey, Chile and Palau. But when the final deadline for the movie came, Malick had only some raw footage to show. And, as The Hollywood Reporter details, Malick's been uncharacteristically busy over the last five years:
In this time, Malick completed Tree of Life, starring Brad Pitt, as well as To the Wonder. Two other films, including Knights of Cups, starring Christian Bale and Natalie Portman, are listed on IMDb as being in post-production.
So that only infuriated Seven Seas even more. The financing firm also accused Sycamore Pictures of using the Voyage of Time funding to complete those other projects, as if we was rubbing salt in the wound.
On one hand, they have a very reasonable point. They gave Malick a certain amount of money to complete a project by a specific deadline. He did not do that. But this Terrence Malick we're talking about here. You may recall Tree of Life, his well received 2011 movie with Sean Penn, was originally supposed to come out in 2009. Suing Malick for delaying a movie past its initial deadline is like suing the tortoise for being slow and steady.