I’m told that “as part of the ongoing transition and restructuring” that stripped Ed Limato of his co-president title, veteran ICM agent Toni Howard is the agency’s new head of motion picture talent. I understand senior agent Carol Bodie “chose to relinquish the role” (which Howard last had in 1999) and “focus more on her clients” like Claire Danes, Dermot Mulroney, Jada Pinkett-Smith and Jim Sturgess. Leigh Brillstein will continue to head television talent. As everyone knows, Toni is not only a tough advocate for her clients, but a stern drill sergeant inside the agency — think Full Metal Jacket in a skirt and a Jaguar. Howard’s clients include Halle Berry, Samuel L. Jackson, Christopher Walken, Laura Linney, Christina Ricci, James Spader. ICM may be negotiating as we speak to key motion picture agents or agencies strong in film talent to come over. I do know this: recently, ICM president and heir apparent Chris Silbermann initiated a meal with some partners at United Talent to kick the tires on a merger. But the problem is what it’s always been: the alpha male owners of major agencies always want to be in charge, and Silbermann told UTA he wanted to be the boss. Oh, and the Los Angeles Times‘ Lorenza Muñoz is working on an ICM story. What more there is to say after my own recent coverage (Finke/LA Weekly: ICM vs Limato Wrapup) I can’t imagine.
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