For 18 months or so, well into 1979, Malick worked on a project based on the life of Joseph Merrick, the 19th-century British sideshow celebrity who suffered from a rare, debilitating disease.
He taught philosophy in France from 1979 to 1994.
Phi Beta Kappa student
He grew up on a farm and worked as a farmhand before studying philosophy at Harvard. After graduating he went to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar but left before finishing his thesis (on Martin Heidegger) after a disagreement with his advisor. He moved back to the United States and taught philosophy at M.I.T. while freelancing as a journalist.
Fluent in French.