"Malick began adapting The Thin Red Line on January 1, 1989. Five months later, the producers received his first draft that was 300 pages long
... Malick spent years working on other projects ... By January 1995, Geisler and Roberdeau were broke and pressured Malick to decide which one he would complete ... In April 1997, three months before filming, Sony pulled the plug while crews were building the sets... 20th Century Fox agreed
to put up $39 million of the budget with the stipulation that Malick cast five movie stars from a list of 10
who were interested.