Fox Searchlight announced that it will distribute Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" in the U.K., finally giving a home to the film that was orphaned after a contract dispute with Icon Entertainment.
Searchlight, which is handling the film in North America, plans to move quickly in order to benefit from the film's worldwide buzz and Palme D'Or win. It will release "Tree" July 8.
In March, Icon Entertainment announced that it planned to release the film on May 4, ahead of its Cannes premiere. This would have made the UK the first region in the world to see the film, and would have disqualified its inclusion at Cannes.
Bill Pohlad's River Road Entertainment, which financed the film, and foreign sales agent Summit Entertainment were nonplussed. They declared that Icon's intent put the company in default on its distribution agreement and the distributor lost the right to distribute "The Tree of Life" in the UK.
From the release:
"We knew this was an amazing film from the moment we saw it," said Fox Searchlight Pictures presidents Nancy Utley and Stephen Gilula in a statement. "Based on the hugely successful opening in the United States, we couldn’t be more thrilled to be releasing this film in the United Kingdom.”
“Fox Searchlight has been an extraordinary partner distributing our film in the United States,” added Pohlad. “So we’re thrilled to have them release 'The Tree of Life' in the United Kingdom, allowing international audiences to experience Terry’s beautiful and affecting masterpiece.”