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Bale, Blanchett to star in two Terrence Malick pics

Ryan Gosling also set for 'Lawless,' 'Knight of Cups' second film

Terrence Malick will shoot his next two pics back-to-back — with Christian Bale and Cate Blanchett to star in both.

“Lawless,” will topline Ryan Gosling, Bale, Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett (“Marley and Me”).

Malick’s second pic, “Knight of Cups,” will star Bale, Blanchett and Isabel Lucas (“Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen”).

The pic pair will be launched to buyers through Glen Basner’s FilmNation at the American Film Market this week.

Both pics are in pre-production and will shoot back-to-back in 2012. Details of the two plots are being kept under wraps but both titles will be separate narratives. The announcement was especially surprising given that Malick has been known for completing pics very slowly. It’s also extremely rare to have two actors commit to projects for the same helmer that aren’t sequels.

Sarah Green and Nicolas Gonda will produce both pics. Gonda and Green produced Malick’s recent titles including “The Tree of Life,” “The New World” and the upcoming as-yet-untitled love story project from Malick toplining Ben Affleck, Rachel Adams, Javier Bardem and Rachel Weisz, for which FilmNation is also handling international sales.

Pic is in post and has already sold to a number of territories including Studiocanal in Blighty and Germany, Roadshow Films in Australia and New Zealand, VVS Films in Canada, Vertigo Films in Spain and Metropolitan Film in Gaul.

Malick’s latest duo of pics will be repped domestically by CAA.

FilmNation is handling international sales on Sean Penn’s “The Comedian,” toplining Robert De Niro and Kristen Wiig, and Jeff Nichols’ “Mud,” starring Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon.

Additionally, it is shopping Bale starrer “The Flowers of War,” a $90 million Chinese epic helmed by Zhang Yimou. Footage was unveiled to buyers in Toronto in September.

In Cannes earlier this year, FilmNation announced that it was fully financing its first pic, an untitled thriller from “Paranormal Activity” creator Oren Peli.

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