Brad Pitt uses his power for good. The A-lister could easily hang his hat on a cavalcade of franchise films and call it a day. Instead, he throws himself on the occasional blockbuster sword (see: Troy” or “World War Z”) for the cred to make movies that strive for something beyond pure entertainment. His Plan B Entertainment, run by Pitt, Dede Gardner, and Jeremy Kleiner, has produced a number of highly acclaimed films over the years, including “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford,” “The Tree of Life,” “Moneyball,” the Best Picture-winning “12 Years a Slave,” HBO's “The Normal Heart” and next year's “True Story.” This December will see the release of Plan B's “Selma,” which prompted the PGA to pay its respects to Pitt”s company in the form of the organization”s Visionary Award.
The Producers Guild Visionary Award recognizes “television, film or new media producers for their unique or uplifting contributions to our culture through inspiring storytelling or performance.” In a statement, Producers Guild Awards Co-Chairs Todd Black (“The Equalizer”) and Ryan Murphy (who may have somewhat of a conflict of interest here, having directed “Normal Heart”) explained why the accolade is a fit for Pitt”s production company. “For over a decade, Plan B Entertainment has inspired creativity and innovation in the entertainment industry. With critical and popular successes in both film and TV, Plan B continually breaks new artistic ground and stimulates necessary dialogue about our history and culture. We look forward to being further enthralled and engaged by their work in the years to come, and are delighted to honor them with this year”s Visionary Award.”
Previous Visionary Awards honorees include producer and founder of Illumination Entertainment Chis Meledandri, “for his prolific work in animation;” producer, entrepreneur and humanitarian Russell Simmons, “for his dedication to philanthropy and work as a film and television producer;” producer Laura Ziskin, “for her commitment to storytelling and her efforts organizing the 2008 and 2009 Stand Up To Cancer campaign and television specials;” Jeff Skoll, for “his work with Participant Media in creating films that inspire social action;” and Joel Gallen, who produced the post-9/11 telethon “America: A Tribute to Heroes.” If you”re making a visible impact, the PGA hands you the Visionary Award.
Currently on the Plan B future slate: Angelina Jolie's “By the Sea,” the long-gestating “Lost City of Z,” and “Americanah,” an immigration drama pairing “12 Years” costar Lupita Nyong'o and “Selma” star David Oyelowo. Let the Plan B reign continue.