With both William Morris agents repping high profile directors, Hollywood’s attention is turning to what David Lonner (who reps JJ Abrams, whose reimagined Star Trek is starting to stack up rave reviews, with WMA motion picture head John Fogelman) and Steve Rabineau plan to do when the merger between WMA and Endeavor is completed within a few weeks. I understand the pair are still under contract but do not want to stay. The reason is that both defected to Morris from Endeavor back in 2003 to reunite with Jim Wiatt and Dave Wirtschafter, who were previously their bosses at ICM. At the time, Lonner’s and Rabineau’s departures caused a shudder in the agency biz because the duo were among Endeavor’s 14 partners (a figure that’s now swollen to 28). Let’s recall what Rabineau said at the time: “David and I joined Endeavor with a specific set of assumptions and goals about where we wanted the business to go. Over the last few years, it became apparent that we weren’t on the same page.” And what Lonner said: “The time has come to move on.” I can report that United Talent wants both tenpercenters on board. It’s hardly a secret that UTA is waiting in the wings to talk to almost any senior agents with good clients who don’t want to be part of the merger. Of course, there’s an easy solution: Lonner and/or Rabineau could become managers.
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