Brad Pitt‘s Plan B will make movies for New Regency and RatPac Entertainment when its deal with Paramount concludes in the next couple months, New Regency said on Tuesday. The two recently collaborated on “12 Years a Slave,” one of the year’s Oscar frontrunners, and “True Story,” an upcoming film starring Jonah Hill and James Franco.
New Regency and RatPac will finance Plan B’s future films, and RatPac, the company founded by director Brett Ratner and Australian businessmen James Packer, can also co-finance projects Plan B already has in development at New Regency. New Regency has a deal at Fox, which will distribute Plan B’s movies.
“Our company is built on working with the best talent in the business. By bringing Plan B, with their solid filmmaker relationships and stellar pool of talent, into the fold with RatPac, we are doing just that,” New Regency CEO Brad Weston said in a statement.
The deal ends an eight-and-a-half year run at Paramount, which this summer released the duo’s biggest collaboration to-date, “World War Z.” Paramount and Plan B closed a deal on Tuesday for Juan Antonio Bayona to direct a sequel to “World War Z,” which makes the timing of this announcement all the more unusual.
Paramount CEO Brad Grey co-founded Plan B with Pitt and then-wife Jennifer Aniston in 2002, and produced two of the company’s first films – “The Departed” and “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”
Grey left the company to run Paramount in 2004, but he then brought Plan B into the Paramount family with a first-look deal in 2005. Plan B has been at Paramount ever since.
There have been bumps in the relationship between Plan B and Paramount in the past year. The production of “World War Z” was fraught, as reshoots and rewrites pushed costs well beyond what Paramount mapped out. There was also a reported dispute over the right to distribute “12 Years a Slave,” as Paramount felt it had not received sufficient opportunity to release the project.
However, those close to both companies deny the move was born out of animosity or acrimony.
“World War Z” is the only Plan B movie Paramount Pictures has released since 2007. Paramount Vantage, the now-shuttered specialty label, released a pair of films in 2007, but of the 10 movies Plan B has produced since then, “Z” was the only one released by Paramount.
Plan B still has projects in development at the studio, and sources close to both parties insist Grey and Pitt will continue to work together.
Yet Plan B has also tended to make lower to mid-budget dramas – not the kind of movie Paramount typically makes.
“There are very few partners in this business who are able to balance artistic integrity with commercial viability,” Plan B said in a statement. “Working hand in hand with new Regency and RatPac, we feel we have found the perfect fit.”