EXCLUSIVE: Another high profile hire in the early 2013 launch of talent agency Resolution is exiting. Shari Smiley, the 19-year CAA vet, is joining The Gotham Group as a manager in the Literary and Book department. Smiley had left CAA and operated her own business, The Smiley Group, when she joined Jeff Berg’s new agency.
She is best known for negotiating the studio deal with Fox for Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl, which David Fincher directed with Ben Affleck, and for selling the Cheryl Strayed memoir Wild, which Reese Witherspoon stars in this fall, as well as Ransom Riggs’ Miss Peregrine’s Home For Peculiar Children which Tim Burton is directing, and Pride, Prejudice And Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith, which Burr Steers will direct soon in England. She also brokered the Lauren Weisberger book The Devil Wears Prada. The thinking inside Gotham Group is that Smiley’s strength, selling source material for film and television, will be an asset to create producing projects for Gotham.
Smiley becomes the latest of those early Resolution high profile hires to exit. Her former CAA cohort Rich Green is still there as is well regarded former ICM agent David Unger, and ex-Gersh agent Abram Nalibotsky. But the agency’s focus has become building from the ground up and focusing on China, after a group of established agents who left places like CAA found they could not keep their clients. Their salaries therefore became prohibitive and they’ve moved on.