EXCLUSIVE: John Burnham, a cornerstone talent and literary agent who has spent more than 25 years at ICM Partners, is leaving to become a manager and partner at Atlas Artists and Atlas Literary, the Atlas Entertainment subsidiary. The exit is amicable, and Burnham will bring with him a client list of renowned writers, filmmakers and actors he now will represent as a manager.
The long list of clients that will follow him includes Oscar, Emmy and Pulitzer winners. The roster includes Brandon Cronenberg, John Cusack, Stephen Dorff, Diane English, Kleber Mendonca Filho, Stephen Frears, Walter Hill, Felicity Huffman, Adrian Lyne, Sophia Macy, William H. Macy, Clara Mamet, David Mamet, Joe Mantegna, Nicholas Martin, Elaine May, Malcolm Mays, Takashi Miike, Pat McKinley, Keith McNally, David Milch, Rob Reiner, Emma Tammi, Caroline Thompson, David Twohy, Wayne Wang, Peter Weir, Alice Winn, John Woo and Terry Zwigoff. Others will follow as his exit gets sorted.
Burnham becomes the latest rep switching from agenting to management in the ever-shifting rep space and as CAA moves toward acquiring ICM Partners, which Deadline revealed last fall.
“We are very excited to welcome John to Atlas,” Atlas Artist president Dave Fleming and Atlas Literary president Alex Hertzberg said in confirming the move to Deadline. “John has long been regarded as one of the best representatives of talent and creators in town. With his impeccable roster of clients and relationships at the highest level, John is a perfect fit for our thriving team of managers and executives across the Atlas family.”
Said ICM Partners managing director Ted Chervin: “We thank John for the enormous contributions he’s made to the success of ICM Partners and for the distinguished career he’s had with ICM before that which goes back over 25 years. We wish him the greatest success with Atlas and look forward to continuing to work very closely with him.”
Burnham first joined ICM after stints with manager Alan Carr and then the Paul Kohner Agency, where he rose from assistant to get his agent stripes. At ICM, he started in the Television Literary Department and then the Motion Picture Department, working for Sue Mengers and Jeff Berg.
He then joined the William Morris Agency and spent 16 years there, becoming Co-Head of the Motion Picture Department and serving on the agency’s board of directors. Burnham returned to ICM in 2001 as Head of Motion Pictures. He served on ICM’s Board of Directors in its prior configuration before becoming a partner.
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