EXCLUSIVE: Tom Shadyac has signed with Paradigm. The agency will try to help the writer-director-producer regain the early career mojo he enjoyed when he was as close to a can’t-miss hitmaker as any comedy director in Hollywood. His billion-dollar run started with his feature debut Ace Ventura: Pet Detective, and the string of hits included The Nutty Professor, Liar Liar, Patch Adams and Bruce Almighty. He also exec produced the ABC hit sitcom 8 Simple Rules.
Shadyac’s hot streak ended abruptly with Evan Almighty, a film that was supposed to be a sequel until Jim Carrey dropped out and Steve Carell stepped in. The result was a pricey flop. Shadyac then took an unplanned detour: A bicycling accident left him with post-concussion syndrome, hyper-sensitive to light and noise, and unable to do much of anything. As Shadyac chronicled in his documentary I Am, that near-death experience led the filmmaker on a life-changing personal journey. He gave away much of his fortune to causes that included opening a homeless shelter in Virginia, and he simplified his life by selling his Hollywood mansion and moving into a trailer park in Malibu. The documentary included Shadyac meeting with intellectual and spiritual leaders to seek answers to what ails the world.
Shadyac leaves WME, following a couple of attempts to resurface that didn’t work out as he rewrote to direct but ultimately left the films The Shack and the Americanized remake of The Intouchables for creative reasons. Paradigm is already setting meetings for Shadyac, who seems eager to come back and regain that momentum.
He continues to be lawyered by Lawrence Rose at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, & Brown.