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Fox Searchlight grabs Malick’s ‘Tree’

Starring Pitt and Penn, pic hits screens next year

Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” has landed at Fox Searchlight, which has opted to wait until next year to release the drama.

Searchlight made the announcement Thursday, saying that it’s acquired U.S. rights from Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment for “Tree,” which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn.

“Tree of Life” had been the only release remaining at Pohlad’s troubled Apparition Films, which had never given it a release date. Apparition had laid off all but a few employees earlier this week.

“Tree” wasn’t completed in time for the Venice, Telluride or Toronto festivals.

“Terrence Malick has crafted a deeply moving, keenly observed and magisterial film,” said Fox Searchlight presidents Stephen Gilula and Nancy Utley in a statement. “Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and the entire cast’s performances are simply amazing. This is a signature film by a signature filmmaker and we are proud to be releasing it.”

“Tree” centers on a son, played by Penn, and his complicated relationship with his father, played by Pitt.

The film was produced by Pohlad, Sarah Green, Pitt, Dede Gardner and Grant Hill.

“Terry Malick has given us another masterpiece that is both profoundly moving and stunningly beautiful,” Pohlad said in a statement. “And there is no better partner than Fox Searchlight to bring this film to audiences.”

As for Searchlight, it’s prepping several awards contenders for the current season including “127 Hours,” “Black Swan” and “Never Let Me Go,” all of which are screening at Toronto.