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UTA Signs ‘The Office’ And ‘Hangover’ Star Ed Helms

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EXCLUSIVE: UTA has just signed Ed Helms, one of the strong names on the client lists of Jason Heyman and Martin Lesak, who were chief among the five comedy department brain trust agents who left CAA yesterday and joined UTA. Helms, star of The Office, The Hangover and We’re The Millers, next stars in the rebooted Vacation film. He comes with Mike Falbo, his producing partner at Pacific Electric Picture Co. production shingle, which will also be represented by UTA. The duo… Read

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WME Signs ‘Ex Machina’ Helmer Alex Garland

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WME has signed Alex Garland. After a career that began when he adapted for director Danny Boyle his novel The Beach and then scripted 28 Days Later and Sunshine for the same helmer, he makes his feature directing debut on his script Ex Machina. WME just screened the film, which A24 will release April 10 and which stars Alicia Vikander, Domhnall Gleeson and Oscar Isaac. It’s about a young programmer is selected to participate in a breakthrough experiment in artificial… Read

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Three More CAA Agents Join UTA – Update

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On the heels of the bombshell move of five top CAA comedy agents to UTA earlier today, three of their colleagues at CAA — agents John Sacks, Susie Fox and Joanna Scott — have followed them. That brings the number of agent defections in one of the biggest exoduses in recent memory to eight. And I hear there may be more, with the final tally of CAA agent departures rumored to be as high as 12-13. Sacks, Fox and Scott were among the names speculated about today as… Read

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CAA To Take Legal Action Against Five UTA Defectors

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EXCLUSIVE: More fallout following this morning’s bombshell exit of CAA agents Jason Heyman, Martin Lesak, Gregory McKnight, Greg Cavic and Nick Nuciforo, who all left to bolster the comedy department of UTA. CAA shortly will be filing legal action, charging that some if not all of those defectors left while under binding contracts and seeking redress. I am told that historically this is not unusual when major agents exit to a rival agency. It doesn’t undo what happened… Read

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UTA Lands Chris Pratt: ‘Guardians Of The Galaxy’ Star Moves From CAA With Longtime Agents

Chris Pratt

EXCLUSIVE: The first big shoe has dropped after the exit of five senior CAA comedy agents to UTA. I’m told that Chris Pratt has followed his reps Jason Heyman and Martin Lesak to UTA. When Pratt began working with those agents, he was a comedy client, a cast member on Parks And Recreation. That series has just finished its run, and now Pratt has become so much more than that. He has emerged as perhaps the brightest leading man to come along in a long time. He starred in Gu… Read

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UTA Lands 5 Major CAA Comedy Agents In Mass Exodus, Putting Big Names In Play – Update

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2ND UPDATE adds new details: The exit of the braintrust of CAA’s comedy department agents to UTA is not only the most seismic mass movement from one agency to another in recent memory, it has put some of the biggest Hollywood stars in play and possibly on the move. And it may not be over, with speculation swirling that more CAA agents may be following suit. There are several agent names floated out there as potentially moving to UTA though that has not happened, at least… Read

TV

Katharine McPhee Signs With ICM Partners

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Katharine McPhee, who co-stars on CBS’ freshman spy drama Scorpion, has signed with ICM Partners. She had been with WME. McPhee was a runner-up on American Idol in Season 5 and got her big acting break in NBC’s Broadway musical drama Smash, the big-budget effort that was cancelled after two seasons despite lots of love from the network.  She has also done film (The House Bunny) and TV (Community, CSI: NY), and then hooked up with Scorpion, based on the life of genius… Read

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Bond Girl Lea Seydoux Signs With WME

"Les Adieux De La Reine" Premiere - 62nd Berlinale International Film Festival

EXCLUSIVE: WME just signed Lea Seydoux, who went from starring in the racy Cannes Palme d’Or winner Blue Is The Warmest Color to shooting the next 007 film Spectre alongside Daniel Craig. She recently wrapped the Yorgos Lanthimos-diurected The Lobster alongside Rachel Weisz, Colin Farrell and John C. Reilly and last year starred in Bertrand Bonello's Saint Laurent, Wes Anderson's The Grand Budapest Hotel and Christophe Gans' Beauty And The Beast. The French actress had… Read

Film

Talent Agency Launches Biz Development Arm Verve Ventures; Amy Beecroft Will Steer It

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Lit agency Verve has hatched Verve Ventures, an internal global business development arm. International sales vet Amy Beecroft will run it. She’s a veteran of First Look/Overseas Film Group, HBO, GreeneStreet Films, and FilmNation. They will hatch strategic partnerships in international and domestic film and TV, get into finance and sales, digital distribution and develop new technologies. The agency got a taste of that ushering in Virtual Reality, a concern that is… Read

TV

Babette Perry To Head Broadcast/Alternative TV Division At Innovative Artists

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Veteran TV agent Babette Perry has joined Innovative Artists where she will create and run a broadcast/alternative TV division. Among her responsibilities, Perry will rep talent including entertainment hosts, news and sports personalities, social media talent, experts in multiple disciplines, and news/alternative television producers. She also will work with Innovative’s roster of existing actors and models to bring new talent into network, cable, digital and syndicated… Read

Business

Zach Woods Inks With UTA

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Zach Woods, who co-stars on HBO’s Silicon Valley, has signed with UTA. The Upright Citizens Brigade alum played Gabe in more than 50 episodes of The Office and has recurred on Veep, The League, The Good Wife and Playing House. Other credits include TV’s Kroll Show, Arrested Development, Comedy Bang! Bang! and Bored To Death and features The Heat, High Road and The Other Guys. Woods next will be seen in the big-screen comedy Spy with Melissa McCarthy, Jason Statham, Rose… Read