I keep forgetting to report that the old CAA building designed by I.M. Pei, complete with its Roy Lichtenstein mural, is back in the hands of Michael Ovitz. Both his ex-partners Ron Meyer and Bill Haber recently sold to him their financial interests in the Beverly Hills landmark at the corner of Little Santa Monica and Wilshire Blvds about the same time that CAA stopped paying on the old lease. (Remember, I posted way back when that CAA moved to Century City despite still owing rent on the Pei digs. Talk about cash flow problems…) Ovitz, who personally brown-nosed Pei to design the monument to agency power, was desperate to gain sole custody. Now that Ovitz has the edifice back, I hear he’s probably leasing office space to Sony BMG Music. My favorite story about the building is when Ovitz had a time-lapse camera mounted in the parking lot of Budget Rent-a-Car directly across the street from the construction site to film the step-by-step progress of the headquarters and make a movie of the building’s birth. One of CAA’s star directors, Joel Schumacher, even agreed to direct with famed Billy Weber to edit and no less than John Williams to score. When news of the film project swept through the entertainment community shortly before CAA was to move into the building on July 28th, 1989, the jokes came fast and furious. So did the jibes, the most brutal of which was that I.M. Pei had unwittingly become “the Albert Speer of Hollywood.” The movie idea was dropped.
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