Apparition looking to secure ‘Tree of Life’ distribution deal

Posted by · 5:38 pm · September 7th, 2010

Boy, the story on Apparition and Terrence Malick’s “The Tree of Life” just keeps stacking up the drama.  Mike Fleming reports this afternoon the company has obliterated much of its staff because “there were no films to distribute,” and that Bill Pohlad has been showing the film to studios and is looking for a distribution deal for the film.

What a difference a year makes, huh?  Just 12 months ago it seemed like there might be a bright new day for indie distributors.  Companies like Apparition, Overture Films, Summit Entertainment, etc. were beginning to get a foothold in what was looking more and more like an underdog season.  The Best Picture winner was a film that came and went at the box office.  Now a guy like Peter Weir can’t get arrested and a Malick film is looking for a little help.

I imagine at this point we’re probably looking at a 2010 release for the film after all.  Someone is bound to take the plunge (since it’s been since way back in August of last year that Apparition acquired the title).  Let’s hope so, anyway, lest we have another situation akin to “The Way Back.” Meanwhile, another home for this kind of cinema is slowly biting the dust (a downward spiral initiated with Bob Berney’s abrupt pre-Cannes departure).

Writes Fleming:

This development validates talk I’ve been hearing that Pohlad has been showing the Terrence Malick-directed Tree of Life to distributors. I understand the film will land shortly. That means Malick has finished it and it will likely factor into an Oscar race which has suddenly gotten interesting with films that include Black Swan and The King’s Speech. Tree of Life, which stars Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, was originally going to be the big title on the Apparition slate, but that scenario collapsed when Bob Berney made a surprise exit on the eve of the Cannes Film Festival. Berney is expected to start an indie distribution company at GK Films, though this hasn’t been confirmed.

Read the rest at Deadline, and feel free to use this space to beg a studio to bite. I know there are lots of sight-unseen fans out there.

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 9-07-2010 at 6:11 pm

    Mitchell said...

    “Peter Weir can’t get arrested” Huh? Good news about Tree of Life, though. :)

  • 2 9-07-2010 at 7:55 pm

    joe said...

    Don’t take things so literally, Mitchell. ;)

  • 3 9-07-2010 at 8:00 pm

    Mitchell said...

    I guess I’m missing something. Oh well.

  • 4 9-07-2010 at 9:19 pm

    Adam said...

    Like, he and his film have gone so unnoticed by distributors, it’s as though he couldn’t even get arrested if he wanted to. It’s hyperbole or litotes or one of those blasted literary devices.

  • 5 9-07-2010 at 9:41 pm

    AmericanRequiem said...

    i hope it can make it in this year, just to add more quality films(hopefully) to the fall season

  • 6 9-08-2010 at 12:24 am

    Cde. said...

    This is fantastic news. It’s seemed pretty clear for a while now that the film is done and the hold up was with Apparition. I was really worried about the film being delayed for months while Pohlad tried in vain to find a way to revive his company, but now it seems it will be another last minute addition to the Oscar race.

    Bill Pohlad seems to be a guy with integrity, who cares about the art of cinema, so it’s sad that his distribution dream has fallen apart…but right now I’m overjoyed that a fairly mediocre year for film looks to be reinvigorated with Malick and Weir releases.
    In the past week, the Awards race has become a lot more interesting.

  • 7 9-08-2010 at 3:00 am

    Ross said...

    I am literally gagging for this film. And have been for, what, decades, or however long it is since Malick’s last film. (Five years, I know, but my god I want a film every six months from that man, thanks.)

    Distributor, get on board! You’ll have at least one ticket sale from me. And from whoever I bring along. So that’s at least two!

    There we go. That should sway them.

  • 8 9-08-2010 at 4:54 am

    m1 said...

    I wonder which distributor will take it. The Weinsteins? SPC? Magnolia?

  • 9 9-08-2010 at 6:17 am

    Mike_M said...

    Ok, I’ll bite, I can’t offer much, but I will distribute the film, special screening will be held in my house…

  • 10 9-08-2010 at 2:50 pm

    Kevin K. said...

    I had a feeling this would happen. After the Austin Film Festival rumors started flying around, I knew there was no way they would just let a title this big sit and collect dust after a short festival run. Can’t wait to finally see what Malick has been up to.