If the human race ever dies out and we leave something behind for other live forms to learn about us from, can it please be narrated by Cate Blanchett?

The actress narrates one of two versions of Terrence Malick’s Voyage of Time, a documentary about the beginning of the universe and everything beyond. We’ve already seen the trailer for the 40-minute IMAX version of the film, narrated by Brad Pitt, which will have a theatrical release this fall. But the trailer for Blanchett’s 90-minute version isn’t just a rehashing of the same footage and voiceover as Pitt’s, it’s a totally different perspective with a few previously unseen shots.

When it was first announced Voyage of Time, a project that’s been in the making since the 1970s, would be released with two versions I’ll admit I was a little puzzled. This is the kind of filmmaker who gives us one and only one look at the footage he’s captured and spent what seems like eons editing; no deleted scenes, no alternate versions, no director’s commentary on the DVD, nada. We get what we get with Malick. But now a documentary with two cuts of varying lengths and narrations?

Watching the brief trailer for Blanchett’s version, which has the subtitle Life’s Journey compared to Pitt’s The IMAX Experience, it makes sense. The dialogue of Pitt’s version talks about “the unfolding of time” and ruminates on our billions-year-old universe, a very scientific perspective. Listening to it, Pitt sounds like a professor who gets you excited about your Origins of the Universe college course. But Blanchett’s is a bit different, a bit more ruminative, more spiritual, if you will. Her voiceover:

A journey of the birth of the stars, through the origin of humanity. After all those eons, what does it mean to be us?

These two trailers feel like the perfect examples of what Jessica Chastain’s character talked about in the opening minutes of The Tree of Life, saying “The nuns taught us there are two ways through life: the way of nature and the way way of grace.” In the most Malick-y way possible, it looks like the filmmaker is giving us both perspectives in his doc about the beginning of time. And that relation to Tree of Life makes a lot of sense, not only because much of the footage from Voyage of Time was used in Malick’s 2011 film, but because that film was largely about the struggle between those two perspectives. Voyage of Time looks to be Malick working out both of those, perhaps finding a harmony between the two.

Pitt’s Voyage of Time will open in IMAX on October 7. Blanchett’s version has yet to get a release date, but hopefully that changes after the film premieres at the Toronto Film Festival next month.

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