Fox Searchlight will release Terrence Malick’s Palme d’Or winner on Jul 8 after striking a deal with Bill Pohlad’s River Road Entertainment in the wake of the Icon debacle.

Icon Film Distribution had previously been on board to distribute the drama, however after it scheduled a surprise pre-Cannes May 4 release date and subsequently pulled the release and declared it had no plans to distribute the film, the matter went into ongoing arbitration and River Road took back the rights.

Searchlight’s evp of worldwide acquisitions Tony Safford and svp of business affairs Megan O’Brien brokered the deal with River Road president Mitch Horwits.

Searchlight launched The Tree Of Life in the US two weeks ago on $372,920 from four theatres for a company record $93,230 per-site average. It expanded into 20 theatres at the weekend and currently stands at approximately $1.3m.

Brad Pitt, Sean Penn and Jessica Chastain star in the far-reaching essay on faith and the meaning of life, which focuses on the efforts of a man to make sense of the difficult relationship with his father growing up in the 1950s MidWest.