Buried in the thousands of Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton's emails released by hackers is a message from reclusive director Terrence Malick, asking for help in securing rights for a song in a movie he's working on. But it's not an email; it's a scanned image of a typewritten letter signed by Malick. The director, his assistant said in the email to Lynton, "does not have an email account." This isn't surprising — Malick shuns the press and has given all of one interview since the 1970s.
The letter describes a scene where Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara sing "a few phrases" from "Will You Love Me Tomorrow." Malick said that he had no problem securing rights from "Dylan to Madonna to Arcade Fire" under the same terms, but that the Gerry Goffin–Carole King classic was not available under those terms and so risked being cut out of the movie entirely.
Malick is presumably talking about a scene from what The Hollywood Reporter called "Untitled Terrence Malick Project," not Knight of Cups, the Malick film starring Christian Bale whose trailer was released this week.
The use of (relatively) contemporary pop and rock music is a departure for Malick, whose more recent films have used a wide range of classical music from composers like Bach, Wagner, and Mozart.
Here's the full letter. The scene, however, will likely not show up in the film when it's released. Lynton forwarded Malick's request to a Sony Music executive, calling Malick "an icon in the film business." The Sony Music executive indicated that she probably wouldn't be able to help.
Thumbnail image courtesy River Road Entertainment and available here.