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Director James Gray on Keeping Up with Brad Pitt After Divorce News: ‘I’ve Got Nothing But Love for That Guy’

Updated

Brad Pitt
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty

One person who was notably absent at the world premiere of James Gray’s highly anticipated film The Lost City of Z was the movie’s producer, Brad Pitt.

Gray tells PEOPLE that he has kept in contact with Pitt in the weeks since Angelina Jolie filed for divorce after about two years of marriage and 12 years together.

“I’ve exchanged a lot of emails with him,” he said at the New York Film Festival premiere at Lincoln Center. “I love him to death. I’ve been here, obviously, not there. I’ll see him soon. He is the greatest guy.”

Michael Stewart/Getty Images
Michael Stewart/Getty Images

Pitt, 52, was originally supposed to take the lead role in the film, but his reps confirmed to Entertainment Weekly in 2010 that he could not participate due to scheduling conflicts. He did, however, stay on with his production company Plan B, and Gray said the film would not have been possible without his friend and colleague.

“I owe him a huge debt,” he said. “He was the one who sent the book to me and he’s the one who’s stuck by me for many, many years. And I’ve got nothing but love for that guy.”

Based David Grann’s biography The Lost City of Z, Gray’s film adaptation follows the story of Col. Percy Fawcett (Charlie Hunnam), a British explorer who disappeared in the Amazon while trying to locate a mysterious, hidden city. Sienna Miller, Robert Pattinson and Tom Holland also star in the movie.

RELATED VIDEO: Brad Pitt Reunites with His Kids

Pitt most recently reunited with some of his children on Oct. 8, marking the first time he has seen his kids since Jolie filed for divorce on Sept. 19. According to a temporary plan recommended by the Department of Children and Family Services in Los Angeles, a therapist was present during the meeting.