EXCLUSIVE: In a major move that links two highly compatible management companies, The Gotham Group and Principal Entertainment Los Angeles are joining forces. The managers at Principal will move from Westwood into the Gotham headquarters on Sunset Blvd in Los Angeles on April 1. I’m told this is not exactly a merger, as the entities will continue to operate under their established names. But they will cross-collateralize their assets to make things happen. The fact that Principal is moving into The Gotham Group’s space indicates there could be a more permanent partnership down the line.
The linkup was set by Gotham Group founder/CEO Ellen Goldsmith-Vein and Principal partners Marsha McManus, Larry Taube and Liz Robinson. Gotham vets Lindsay Williams and Lee Stollman will help in facilitating the teaming up of the companies. Gotham is repped by CAA.
Both companies confirmed the move and issued statements.
Said Goldsmith-Vein: “The intersection between PELA’s impressive talent representation capabilities and Gotham’s broad expertise across the animation, film and television worlds will expand opportunities for all our clients.”
Principal Entertainment’s McManus, Taube and Robinson added: “Gotham’s deep well of intellectual property and production resources is the perfect match to our impressive talent pool.”
On paper, joining forces looks like an inspired idea because they work different sides of the street. The Gotham Group has a producing component and reps over 300 writers, authors and publishing company clients, and a single talent client in Boardwalk Empire star Steve Buscemi. Principal Entertainment has a strong list of talent clients, with a smattering of lit clients.
Principal’s talent clients include Seth Rogen, Big Bang Theory‘s Jim Parsons, Sandra Oh, Cheryl Hines, Alexander Skarsgard, Tom Wilkinson, Andy Serkis, Brendan Gleeson, Steve Zahn, Christopher Eccleston, Sally Hawkins, Joanne Frogatt, Taylor Kinney, Katy Mixon, Kate Burton, Ann Dowd, Sally Pressman, James Roday, Paul Adelstein, Matt Lauria, Shea Whigham, Adam Arkin, Skylar Astin, Seth Numrich, and Dan Futterman. Lit clients include writer/director Stephen Kay, writer/director Joe Ahearne, and For A Good Time Call writer/star Lauren Ann Miller. The manager roster of Principal includes Mike Smith, Jen Weinbaum, Atil Singh and Liz York, who recently joined Principal and brought clients Jordana Brewster, Dylan O’Brien and others.
Gotham clients include the publishers Scholastic, Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, Bloomsbury Walker US, Soho, Dark Horse Comics, and Arcana. The lit clients include Henry Selick, Danny Strong, Dave Eggers, Steve Buscemi, David Gordon Green, Zach Helm, Thor Freudenthal, Wentworth Miller, Emily Kapnek, Dan Simmons, Angus Wall, Burr Steers, Adam Cozad, Brian Percival, Nick Santora, Aardman Animations, Robert Nelson Jacobs, Mark Steven Johnson, Chris Murphy, Jay Chandrasekhar, Mark Andrus, Dan Lagana, Butch Hartman, Doug Tenapel, Colum McCann, Mike Jones, and Tony DiTerlizzi.
As a producer, The Gotham Group has a first-look deal at Sony Pictures Animation and a first-look TV deal at ABC Studios. On the film side, Gotham Group is producing an untitled adaptation of Elmore Leonard’s Switch with Jennifer Aniston and John Hawkes with Daniel Schechter directing, and production starts in May at Fox on an adaptation of the James Dashner novel The Maze Runner. Separately, Gary Ross will direct Simon Bloom: The Gravity Keeper, at Universal; Gotham is producing with Shawn Levy The Devil You Know at Fox; and there are adaptations set up on Doug TenNapel’s graphic novel Ghostopolis, Dwayne Johnson is attached to Big Brave Brian, Colombiana‘s Olivier Megaton is attached to Taking Gotham and the Jonathan Tropper-scripted Kodachrome at Fox. Past Gotham Group credits include Abduction, The Spiderwick Chronicles and on the TV side Creature Comforts American and Elmo’s Christmas Countdown at ABC.