Plan B Entertainment, the Oscar-winning production label co-founded by Brad Pitt, has signed a first-look feature deal with Warner Bros. Pictures.
The producer of Academy Award best picture winners “The Departed,” “12 Years a Slave,” and “Moonlight” will give Warner Bros. exclusive options on all film projects, returning to the studio home where it launched in 2002.
Warner Bros. Pictures will also handle global distribution of Plan B titles under the terms of the agreement. The move to WB comes after a three-year first look with Megan Ellison’s Annapurna Pictures.
The deal was announced by Plan B partner Pitt and co-presidents Dede Gardner and Jeremy Kleiner, with Warner Bros. Pictures Group chairman Toby Emmerich and WB production and development president Courtenay Valenti.
“Brad, Jeremy and Dede are extraordinary filmmakers,” Emmerich and Valenti said in a statement. “Their track record of excellence speaks for itself. We are so excited to collaborate with them on the dynamic and singular movies for which they are known.
The agreement represents a doubling-down on Plan B’s vision of substantive, theatrical moviegoing experiences, made with top filmmakers and, often, premium intellectual property.
Among the label’s notable library titles are “The Assassination of Jesse James By the Coward Robert Ford,” “The Tree of Life,” “World War Z,” The Normal Heart,” “The Big Short,” “If Beale Street Could Talk,” “and “Vice.”
The company is currently working on Jon Stewart’s political drama “Irresistible,” the Miranda July project “Kajillionaire” at Focus Features, and Lee Isaac Chung’s “Minari,” winner of the 2020 Sundance Film Festival U.S. dramatic grand jury prize, to be released by A24.
How exactly does Brad Pitt know the Property Brothers? It’s a question anyone might have before the premiere of Celebrity IOU, and one that comes up pretty quickly, just after Brad— yes, it’s somehow really Brad!—shakes hands with Drew and Jonathan Scott. “I will be honest: when you called us, I thought it was a prank call,” Drew says early on in the episode.
The strange, dazzled sensation of seeing Brad Pitt on HGTV never truly goes away throughout the first episode of Celebrity IOU, a new series that premieres April 13 in which the likes of Melissa McCarthy, Viola Davis, and Rebel Wilson will also team up with the Scott brothers to pull off renovations for their loved ones. Pitt’s work is on behalf of his long-term makeup artist Jean Ann Black, described by GQ in 2017 as “Brad Pitt’s secret weapon,” and owner of a home in Santa Monica with a freestanding garage that, as in any classic Property Brothers episode, has potential for so much more. Pitt wants to give her a proper makeup table for her clients, and space for guests; the brothers also squeeze in a spa-worthy shower and a ludicrously expensive folding glass door. Pitt and the brothers throw some sledgehammers to block out the back wall, pick out some tiles. It’s a Property Brothers episode; what more do you want?
Well, what if a standard-issue HGTV show featured a drop-by from one of the most magnetic movie stars who ever lived? Wearing his signature newsboy hat, artfully tousled hair, and a genuine smile every time he talks about his long-standing friendship with Black, Pitt is exactly as relaxed and casual as he pretended to be during every awards acceptance speech earlier this year. “I love the sound of a construction site,” he says, not long after dropping that he knows the zoning laws for how close you can build to the property line. “I’m extremely tactile,” he says, picking out engineered hardwood samples like they’re crown jewels. Presumably, someone responsible for the awards campaign for Once Upon a Time…in Hollywood was aware that this episode would air after the Oscars, and lamented the missed opportunity. Not that he really needed the help, but it’s impossible to watch this and not want to hand Pitt anything in the world.
His presence makes the usual goofy antics of the Scott brothers seem even more absurd than usual. Pitt’s not in the entire episode, of course, though he does gamely Skype in to weigh in on a bonus outdoor space (he’s all for it, of course). But he returns at the end for the first big reveal, grinning in awe at an elaborately engineered Murphy bed and tearing up at the sight of a photo of Black’s parents tucked into the storage closet. When Black herself arrives to take it all in, he turns to grin at the camera, a moment so unscripted and genuine he’s never fully in focus.
Black’s arrival at the end of the episode, which comes after she’s been talked up to high heaven by her friend Brad, is remarkably able to live up to the hype. A taciturn Texan trying hard not to cry on television, she responds to the renovation in the way that most people do on these shows: with awe, gratitude, a small heartfelt speech. But she also looks like she might jab Pitt in the ribs when taping is over for forcing her in front of the camera. Once the brothers leave, she relaxes a bit for what might be the best part of the episode: Pitt jokes about trying to get her on a true-crime series, and coaches her through lines like “If I can’t have you, nobody can” and “Look what you made me do!” Pitt’s a great coach; he also looks at her with the kind of admiration and affection that can make an entire generation swoon.
The pictures have gotten particularly small lately, and it’s unclear when we’ll be able to get another dose of giant movie-star charisma in its intended, big-screen format. So while Brad Pitt showing up on a HGTV show is weird, it’s also exactly what we deserve right now. Maybe not as much as Jean Ann Black deserves her hidden makeup mirror that rises up out of her new quartz countertop—but then again, Brad doesn’t smile at us that way, either.
AFI Movie Club: BUTCH CASSIDY AND THE SUNDANCE KID
Josh Brolin will star in Amazon’s “Outer Range,” a drama from Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment.
The series is part of Plan B’s overall deal with the retail giant that was signed in January. From writer Brian Watkins, the thriller centers on a rancher fighting for his land and family, who discovers an unfathomable mystery at the edge of Wyoming’s wilderness. Brolin will star as the rancher, Royal Abbott.
Brolin is also an executive producer on the series. Watkins executives produces with Brolin, Zev Borow and Heather Rae. “Outer Range” is the first series for both Watkins and Borow.
When Quentin Tarantino First Tried to Direct Brad Pitt’s Shirtless ‘Hollywood’ Scene He Failed Miserably
One of the most memorable moments in Quentin Tarantino’s “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” arrives when Brad Pitt’s Cliff Booth climbs to the roof of Rick Dalton’s house to fix an antenna. It’s a warm summer afternoon in Los Angeles, so Cliff strips down and takes off his shirt. Pitt’s physique and the way the sun is beating down on his body and glaring off his abs overwhelmed more than a handful of moviegoers. Tarantino appeared on the latest episode of Amy Schumer’s “3 Girls, 1 Keith” podcast and recalled the moment he tried and failed to direct Pitt’s acting when it came to how Cliff should take off his shirt.
“It was funny because actually in public Brad is kind of shy about things like that,” Tarantino said. “At the same time, he knows exactly what time it is. I go, ‘So, I’m thinking maybe you unbutton the Hawaiian shirt, and you peel that off, and then peel off the Champion T-shirt.’ He was like, ‘Really? You want me to go through all that button bullshit? I’ll just take it off in one bit. Go!’”
Tarantino continued, “I’m like, okay, this guy knows exactly what time it is. Shut the fuck up and let the master do his job! Even when you see him in the work shed and the way he puts on the leather gloves and puts the wire in his mouth all butch and macho. He just knows what time it is.”
Hello our fellow Brad admirers! Perhaps you noticed that the updates are few and far inbetween recently. This is because your webmiss was experiencing a difficult pregnancy. Our son Faaz was born february 29th and needed lots of immediate care in the hospital. This took a lot of my attention, love and focus. We are home now since last week and all is well. Slowly we are settling down. I will resume updates again soon.
Until then our social media manager and true friend Shann is keeping you updated with news here and on our instagram @simply__brad
Celebrity IOU will show A-listers surprising their loved ones with a complete home makeover
The Property Brothers are at it again. Drew and Jonathan Scott are set to launch a new HGTV series this April that will feature some major star power. On Celebrity IOU, stars like Brad Pitt, Melissa McCarthy, and Viola Davis will work alongside the brothers to make special renovations for friends, family members, and mentors who have meaningfully impacted their lives on their rise to stardom.
Some of the projects include completely reimagining a backyard, updating a ’70s-style condo, and converting a detached garage into a guest retreat. The A-listers themselves will have a hand in the renovations; a trailer for the series shows Davis ripping out counters and Rebel Wilson driving a bulldozer. “It’s amazing to see someone who is extremely successful be grounded enough to always remember the people who helped them get there,” Jonathan said in a statement.