Manu Bennett has signed with APA. The New Zealander plays Orc chieftain Azog in Peter Jackson’s The Hobbit trilogy and Slade Wilson/Death Stroke on The CW’s Arrow. He also starred as Crixus on Starz’s Spartacus and appeared in features including 30 Days Of Night, The Condemned and The Marine. Bennett also is repped by Sanders/Armstrong/Caserta and attorneys Jeff Frankel and Rob Goldman.
Madeline Brewer has inked with ICM Partners. She made her debut as Tricia Miller on Netflix’s Orange Is The New Black and next appears in Season 2 of the streaming service’s original drama Hemlock Grove, playing a mysterious graphic novelist entering the town. She continues to be managed by Inphenate and lawyered by Schreck, Rose.
The seven-year company veteran has been promoted from agent to VP Television Literary in the Beverly Hills office. Jack Leighton worked as a TV agent at Innovative Artists and WMA before joining APA. His clients include The Blacklist EP Michael Watkins; Matt Hastings, co-EP of The Originals; Karl Schaefer, showrunner on the upcoming Z Nation; and Ian Gurvitz (The Exes, Saint George). “Jack has played an integral role in the ongoing success and growth of our literary department,” APA partner and head of TV lit Lee Dinstman said in announcing the promotion. “His expertise in identifying new talent while providing our clients with a premium level of service moves the needle forward every day.”
Related: Agents Michael Kirschner & Arielle Mesirow Join APA
Less than a month after promoting four coordinators to agent, APA has hired a pair of new ones. Michael Kirschner joins the agency in its Physical Production department, and Arielle Mesirow will work on the Comedy/Talent side. Kirschner began his career at ICM then moved to Paradigm to oversee commercials for their below-the-line clients. He will focus on integrating production and literary clients across advertising and marketing campaigns. Mesirow started at Endeavor and continued working in WME’s talent department before joining APA, where she reports to Ryan Martin and Mike Berkowitz.
EXCLUSIVE: Punk rock journalist-turned-American Psycho director Mary Harron has signed with APA. Harron is attached to direct the Salvador Dali biopic Dali And I and is currently co-adapting the script from art dealer Stan Lauryssens’ book. Harron made her feature screenwriting and directorial debut with the award-winning 1996 Sundance and Cannes entry I Shot Andy Warhol, which nabbed her an Indie Spirit nomination. Her next film, the polarizing 2000 adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’ American Psycho, went on to achieve cult status and garnered Harron a Director of the Year nod from the London Film Critics’ Circle. She reteamed with American Psycho co-scribe Guinevere Turner for 2005′s pinup biopic The Notorious Bettie Page, which she also produced, and adapted Rachel Klein’s novel The Moth Diaries in 2011 for her most recent feature of the same name. Read More »
APA said today that its newest agents are Ashley Hanley (Talent department), Kyle Loftus (TV Literary), Adam Perry (Feature Literary), and Michael Abelson (EDM/Concerts). All four were coordinators in their respective departments.
Rhys Wakefield has signed with ICM Partners. The Australian actor is onscreen in Endless Love, and his other credits include The Purge, Nobody Walks and The Black Balloon, for which he earned Best Actor noms from the Australian Film Institute and the Film Critics Circle of Australia. He is managed by Anonymous Content.
Gina Wendkos has signed with APA. Her feature writing credits include The Perfect Man, Coyote Ugly, Jersey Girl and the Princess Diaries films along with the telepic Do No Harm. Wendkos is scripting Carnival for CBS Films and Kabul Beauty School, which is in development at Columbia. She is additionally repped by The Gotham Group.
EXCLUSIVE: Actress Garcelle Beauvais has signed with APA across the board. The NYPD Blue and Jamie Foxx Show alum and former Franklin & Bash regular, who departed the TNT legal dramedy in 2012, guest-starred recently on Necessary Roughness, Psych, and Arrested Development and made big screen appearances in Flight and White House Down. She next stars in indie drama And Then There Was You, from helmer Leila Djansi. Beauvais is additionally repped by Luber Roklin Management and Edelstein, Laird & Sobel.
The Gersh Agency has signed writer-director Eric England (Madison County), whose low-budget STD horror flick Contracted was released by IFC Midnight last fall. The helmer is next set to direct TJ Cimfel-scripted Hellbent, about a woman who joins a rescue crew to look for her husband after a mining accident and instead discovers a demonic presence. England is also developing horror pic The Sirens with Barbed Wire Films’ Brad Douglas, in which a group of deep-sea fishermen encounter four mysterious young women and get hooked into a ritual sacrifice. He’s repped by Vol. Unlimited Entertainment and Miloknay Weiner, LLP.
Related: IFC Midnight Acquires STD Horror ‘Contracted’
James Maslow has signed with Brillstein Entertainment Partners. He starred on the Nickelodeon series Big Time Rush for four seasons and toured as a member of the band. Maslow’s other TV credits include iCarly, See Dad Run and Marvin Marvin. He also is repped by CAA.
Tate Stevens, the 2012 winner of Fox’s The X Factor, has signed with APA. His debut album reached No. 18 on the Billboard 200 and made the top five on the country chart. He is additionally repped by RPME.
EXCLUSIVE: Three months after APA launched a Physical Production department with the hire of Paradigm agents Jay Gilbert and Gil Harari, the agency is expanding the department in a big way by bringing in virtually the entire staff of the Montana Artists Agency, whose sole focus is representing below-the-line talent. Montana toppers Matt Birch and Ralph Berge will serve as SVP and co-heads of APA’s physical production department alongside Gilbert and Harari. Coming with them from Montana are VP Brady Torgeson, agent Julian Savodivker, agent Amanda Pecora-Sutphen, and business affairs executive Larry Sheffield. While this is not an agency acquisition, it is unclear what the future holds for Montana, whose staff has been gutted by the exodus to APA, with only two agents remaining, Karen Berch (TV & features) and Nick Malkin (commercials). “I could not be more pleased to have Matt, Ralph and their team join our new Physical Production division launched earlier this year with Jay and Gil,”said APA president and CEO, Jim Gosnell. “These new hires make our division one of the largest of its kind in the industry, where we now represent some of the successful names in below-the-line feature and television production worldwide.” Montana’s clients include Matthew Jensen, Director of Photography for The Fantastic Four, Paul Harb, editor for The Expendables 3, Denise Pazzini, production designer for Fox pilot Fatrick and Chrisi Karvonides-Dushenko, costume designer for Fox series Hieroglyph. Read More »
Yule Caise has signed with APA and 3 Arts Entertainment. In July, he was selected as the Fox Writers Intensive Fellow from among 10 finalists. Caise inked a development deal with FX Networks, in conjunction with Fox Broadcasting Co and 20th Century Fox Television, and will pitch a new original script to FX. His credits including writing and directing the 2010 comedy Swishbucklers. Caise is repped by attorney Linda Lichter.
Related: Fox’s Diverse Writers Program Sets Winner
Will Yun Lee has inked with Zero Gravity Management. The actor’s recent credits include The Wolverine and Total Recall and recurring roles on Hawaii Five-O and the new drama Intelligence. He also appeared in such films as Die Another Day and Elektra.
Related: Zero Gravity Inks Helmer Kellie Madison
Lamorne Morris has signed with Resolution in all areas. He stars as Winston on Fox’s New Girl and recently joined the cast of the indie drama Sex Ed. Morris’ credits also include Comedy Central’s Drunk History and several independent features and shorts.
APA has signed screenwriter Daniel Turkewitz, who recently sold his feature spec script Tranquility Base, to 20th Century Fox in a pre-emptive buy. Scott Free’s Ridley Scott, Michael Schaefer, Brooklyn Weaver and Jonathan Krauss are set to produce the sci-fi space drama which has elements of Lord Of The Flies. Michael Pruss will executive produce. Turkewitz was a successful Manhattan architect who decided to change careers and apply to film school, going on to receive his masters in screenwriting from NYU. Turkewitz also is repped by manager Brooklyn Weaver and attorney Jeff Frankel.
EXCLUSIVE: Icelandic director Ragnar Bragason and actress Thora Bjorg Helga, star of Bragason’s Toronto Film Festival drama Metalhead, have both signed with APA as they look to springboard off buzz from their September Toronto premiere. The darkly comic coming-of-age tale centers a teenage girl who assumes her dead brother’s persona and penchant for heavy metal after witnessing his accidental death. Bragason is known in his native Iceland for films Börn (Children) and Foreldrar (Parents) and his TV series Næturvaktin (The Night Shift), Dagvaktin (The Day Shift), and Fangavaktin (The Prison Shift). Metalhead is only Helga’s second feature after 2 Guns and Contraband helmer Baltasar Kormákur‘s 2012 Icelandic pic The Deep. Metalhead producers Árni Filippusson and David Olaffson also produced the original Icelandic film Either Way, which was remade by David Gordon Green into Prince Avalanche; APA is additionally repping American remake rights to Metalhead. Watch the film’s trailer:
APA says it has signed 21-year-old award-winning web cartoonist/comic and graphic novelist Noelle Stevenson in all areas. Most recently, Stevenson sold her graphic novel Nimona to HarperCollins in competitive bidding; it will be published in 2015. A graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Arts, Stevenson created the character of Nimona as an offshoot of her Ginger Haze art blog. Nimona is set in a fantasy/science fiction universe in which rambunctious Nimona is sidekick to Lord Ballister Blackheart, a knight-turned-mad scientist who battles nemesis Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. Stevenson is currently writing an episode of the Adventure Time creators’ web TV show The Bravest Warriors on Cartoon Hangover for Frederator. The recipient of this year’s first Cartoonist’s Studio Prize award for Best Web Comic, Stevenson was also just nominated for Best Online Comic for the 2013 Harvey Awards — one of the comic book industry’s oldest and most respected awards. The winner will be announced September 7th. Stevenson is also repped by publishing agent Charlie Olsen at InkWell Management.
Kym Whitley, star of OWN docu-series Raising Whitley, has signed with APA in all areas. Raising Whitley debuted with 1.2 million total viewers on April 20, making it the fifth biggest premiere in the history of the OWN network. It’s currently in production on its second season, premiering in January of ’14. Whitley, who recently appeared in an episode of Baby Daddy on ABC Family, was a series regular role on NBC’s scrubbed comedy Animal Practice. Her credits include recurring roles on The Cleveland Show and 2 Broke Girls, as well as guest starring gigs on Hot In Cleveland and Grey’s Anatomy, among others. Her feature credits include We Bought a Zoo, Rango, and Along Came Polly. As a standup comedienne, Whitley also recently appeared in the OWN comedy special Wanda Sykes Presents: Herlarious.
UPDATE 11:37 AM: Police say no device was found and have given the all-clear after a reported bomb threat at APA’s Beverly Hills agency. They say it was a prank. Everyone has returned to the offices.
PREVIOUS: Beverly Hills police say officers are investigating a reported bomb threat at the APA agency’s offices on South Beverly Drive in Beverly Hills. A staffer told Deadline everyone has been asked to leave the building. Police couldn’t confirm the evacuation. but said officers have been sent to the location to investigate the reported threat. We’ve gotten word that South Beverly Drive has been closed from Olympic to Pico due to the investigation. Deadline has been told everyone at APA is fine and they believe it’s most likely a prank. A call to APA’s offices rang unanswered.
APA partner David Saunders inked Kraig Wenman after meeting the scribe through X-Men and Transformers producer Tom DeSanto. Wenman worked on the screenplay for DeSanto’s re-imagining of the millennium-old Chinese story Creation Of The Gods, a China co-production the producer hopes will be his next global hit franchise. Wenman’s credits include the upcoming feature Absolute Deception, Zephyr Springs and a dozen TV movies. He is additionally repped by Zero Gravity Management.
EXCLUSIVE: Directors Michael Watkins, Rob Bailey and Tawnia McKiernan have signed with APA. Watkins has served as producer and director on shows such as Prison Break, Las Vegas, Smallville, Law & Order and The X-Files. Most recently, he directed the season finale of Justified, and the indie feature, Knucklehead, due out later this year. He was formerly with CAA. Bailey was the producer/director of CSI: New York for five seasons. Other directing credits include Treme and The Wire for HBO. He has also directed multiple episodes of the BBC’s MI-5 and Glasgow Kiss. Bailey is also repped by Protocol and Independent Talent Group in the U.K. He was formerly with CAA. McKiernan has directed multiple episodes of Burn Notice, Fairly Legal and Leverage. She also just completed directing John Stamos in the Lifetime movie, Secrets Of Eden. She is managed by Andrea Simon and was formerly with CAA.
EXCLUSIVE: Oscar-nominated director and animator Timothy Reckart has signed with APA and The Gotham Group. Reckart specializes in stop-motion animation and gained acclaim earlier this year for Head Over Heels. The only Oscar-nominated animated short that was a student film, it examines a marriage from a unique perspective where the wife lives on the ceiling and the husband on the floor. It was his student thesis at the National Film & Television School in the UK. Reckart has a BA in history and literature from Harvard University and an MA in directing animation from the National Film & Television School.
Related: Film Student Takes On Studios In David Vs. Goliath Battle For Oscar Read More »