Brad Pitt’s Plan B Entertainment co-produced the film with Mr. Milchan. Plan B Entertainment President Dede Gardner explained in Screen Daily the partnership arrangement that could very well lead to Mr. Milchan's first Academy Award:
Heading into production a US distributor had yet to be attached. Summit was a potential candidate but its imminent acquisition by Lionsgate soon ruled out the company.
Paramount, which had an output deal with Plan B since 2005 and whose chairman Brad Grey co-founded Plan B with Pitt, was also a potential distributor but ultimately was not seen as the right fit.
Pitt’s outfit would instead turn to Los Angeles-based financier New Regency, whose chairman Arnon Milchan and CEO Brad Weston separately had long-term relationships with Pitt and his executives.
“We were repositioning ourselves,” says Weston of New Regency, which up to that point had focused on mainstream comedies and action fare. “We had a strategy for the company and Steve fell into that category of a wall-to-wall brilliant film-maker that we wanted to work with.”
For New Regency and all the backers, McQueen’s film represented the ultimate in highbrow but accessible film-making.
In April 2012, a few weeks before filming began, New Regency agreed to co-finance and distribute the picture via Fox Searchlight, per its output deal with Fox. In fact, the company committed less than 48 hours after reading the script.
“New Regency were the last people in, but I think it’s fair to say they are the reason the movie got made,” acknowledges Gardner."