As enormous fans of Terrence Malick’s films (Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line), we’re anticipating his forthcoming feature The Tree of Life as breathlessly as anyone. And like everyone else, we’re frustratingly in the dark about this decades-in-gestation, years-in-production, unending-months-in-postproduction mystery movie. There has been so much unsubstantiated, free-floating guesswork about this maybe period American domestic drama/potential dinosaur epic that it’s hard to know who to listen to. That’s why we’re grateful for a new article in Pop Matters in which Paul Maher lays out, at length, everything that’s known so far about The Tree of Life, from its late-1970s origins as the “virtually unfilmable” (per Sam Shepard!) 250-page script Q to its current incarnation as an apparently special-effects-laden tale of a father and son in rural Texas, played at times by Brad Pitt and Sean Penn. We still can’t quite get our minds around it, but, thanks to Maher, at least we have all the facts (or rumors) laid out elegantly. Here’s hoping that fall 2010 release date isn’t just another vague notion.