What was it that prompted Malick’s sudden disappearance from movieland? A new script he’d been working on entitled
Hatching the concept in the summer of 1978, Malick began writing
at the time that
Days Of Heaven
was being lauded as his breakthrough work.
was to be his most ambitious project yet.
Set in the Middle East during World War I, with a prologue that took place in prehistoric times, the script ended up being 250 pages in length.
This was serious. Malick even went so far as to send an assistant out scouting locations. But after a 10 week scouting trip, Malick decided to dump the Middle East section of
and expand the prehistoric prologue so that it became the whole script.
“Imagine this surrealistic reptilian world,” says Richard Taylor, who was hired by Malick as a special-effects consultant.
“There is this creature, a Minotaur, sleeping in the water, and he dreams about the evolution of the universe, seeing the earth change from a sea of magma to the earliest vegetation, to the dinosaurs, and then to man. It would be this metaphorical story that moves you through time.”
Sadly, it was not to be...