Brad Pitt: Behind the Scenes as Producer

Photo Credit: Warner Bros. Pictures
May 8th, 2012

Brad Pitt is a successful actor and producer, but he has famously declined to get behind the camera. In a memorable interview, he responded with an emphatic "Hell, no." when asked if he would consider directing. When asked about his reasons for shunning the director's chair, he has simply claimed a lack of interest. In place of directorial pursuits, Pitt has actively pursued other non-acting entertainment project alternatives.


Pitt's main behind-the-scenes activities tend toward producing. In 2002, he started the production business Plan B Entertainment, working in partnership with actress and former wife Jennifer Aniston and Brad Grey, who is now the CEO of Paramount Pictures. Pitt assumed sole ownership of Plan B Entertainment in 2006. His relationship with Grey proved to be a beneficial business opportunity; Plan B has held release agreements with Paramount Pictures as well as with other major motion picture companies.

Working with Plan B, Pitt has tackled a number of successful film projects. The earliest films produced by the company include "Troy" and the 2005 remake of "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." His producing projects pull in big-name stars, from Julia Roberts in "Eat Pray Love" to Rachel McAdams in "The Time Traveler's Wife."

Pitt occasionally combines producing and acting projects. During the movie "The Tree of Life," which was produced by Plan B, Pitt was originally slated as a producer. The lead role was to be filled by Heath Ledger; after the actor's unexpected death, Pitt took over the part. Pitt is currently starring in the zombie film "World War Z," for which he will also receive a producing credit.

Collaboration with Directors

Although Pitt has expressed his distaste for putting on the directorial cap, he has worked closely with several directors. He collaborated closely with director Terrence Malick on "The Tree of Life." Their partnership was an odd pairing, as Malick is notoriously camera-shy, while Pitt cannot dodge the paparazzi that follow his every move. The movie itself was a testament to the strange pair and a step out of Pitt's normal cinematic fare. Malick's unusual, freeform directing style and Pitt's trademark smolder combined to create an eclectic, artistic movie.

In 2011, Pitt announced that he would be working with director Tate Taylor on a film version of the book "Peace Like a River." Taylor, who directed the blockbuster hit "The Help," signed with Creative Artists Agency in 2012.

Perhaps the most long-standing and lucrative collaboration for Pitt has been with director David Fincher. Fincher and Pitt have partnered on several successful movies, including "Seven," "Fight Club" and "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button." Although each man has been successful in his own right, the two have developed a working style that enables them to create unforgettable films. Their friendship and working relationship is mutually beneficial. Fincher's dark movies give Pitt a chance to get away from traditional action-romance fare, and Pitt's star power gives Fincher immediate credibility. As with the Pitt-Malick partnership, Fincher avoids cameras, while Pitt cannot escape them. Both men have speculated that their partnership works so well because they balance each other: Pitt is lighthearted and comical, while Fincher is more withdrawn and artistic.

Family Matters

Since he began a relationship with actress Angelina Jolie, Pitt, along with his ever-growing family, has pulled focus from potential directing projects. The couple is famous for its brood of children, many of whom are adopted from around the world. To stay together as a family, Pitt and Jolie alternate acting and producing projects. When one is working, the rest of the family lives nearby. While Pitt was filming "The Curious Case of Benjamin Button" in New Orleans, the family bought a house in the city. Their efforts to coordinate schedules ensure the presence of at least one parent and bring normalcy to their children. Regardless, the family is a constant target for paparazzi and media requests.

As the father of six children, Pitt has very limited time. He and Jolie have commented on their need to raise healthy, well-adjusted children. The couple is famous for its activism; in their humanitarian efforts, the family travels around the world, further reducing Pitt's time for directorial pursuits.

Throughout his years in the entertainment business, Brad Pitt has developed a solid career in Hollywood. He is one of the most recognizable faces in the business and is often referred to as the most photographed man in entertainment. With his vast experience, Pitt has had numerous opportunities to pursue a directing career. However, he has chosen to focus on the things he loves most: acting, producing and his family.