2ND UPDATE: ICM says Adam Weinstein is not joining Verve. Verve confirmed on Tuesday for me: “He’s a happy employee at ICM who signed a contract in May when he left UTA.”
UPDATE: I hear Bill’s brother Adam Weinstein, an ICM motion picture lit agent, is joining Verve, too. And Verve has just issued a press release with this joint statement: “We believe that in the ever-changing marketplace of today, artists need a focused, entrepreneurial, team-oriented group of agents. Verve will shift the emphasis from agency-first culture to artist-first representation.” It says confirmed clients joining Verve include Joe Kosinski (Tron, Legacy), Michael Arndt (Little Miss Sunshine, Toy Story 3), and Aaron Guzikowski (Prisoners).
Previous: Motion picture lit agents Bill Weinstein, Bryan Besser and Adam Levine were Endeavor alumni who stayed through the merger with William Morris. But now they’re leaving to start their own agency called Verve “modelled after Endeavor in its original incarnation”, according to sources. I’m told WME and the trio were talking about this for 3 months. “Discussions to keep them at WME have been a bust. They were upset that they’ve been passed over by the merger. Everyone thinks they’re crazy to go out on their own in this environment,” another source tells me. I understand there was one internal meeting where Ari Emanuel told the trio, “We can be foes or we can be friends. I don’t want to handle you like the way I was handled at ICM.” In the end, the agency paid their bonuses and December expenses, figured out their housing loans, and agreed not to go after their clients. Now everyone is claiming there’s no ill will. “We want them to be successful and we wish them well,” one of my WME insiders claims. Oh, puh-leeze. Where’s the fun in that for me?