More than two months since original The Walking Dead showrunner Frank Darabont and CAA sued AMC, over unpaid fees and other claims, the cable station has finally replied. In a dry point-by-point 10-page retort filed today in the Supreme Court of New York, AMC denied all of the plaintiffs’ claims and asked for the case to be dismissed. “Defendants deny that Plaintiffs are entitled to any relief, whether monetary, compensatory, declarative, equitable, costs, and/or fees relating to this matter, or in any other form sought by Plaintiffs,” said the filing (read it here). “We look forward to demonstrating through the legal process that this is a baseless lawsuit built on claims that have no merit,” an AMC spokesperson told me today. The dense December 17 complaint that Darabont and CAA filed against AMC Network Entertainment and others alleged that the former WD EP and his agency were cheated out of contractually assured profits from the blockbuster zombie apocalypse series.
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Darabont and CAA’s 24-page plus exhibits filing late last year also claimed that AMC enacted a limbo-low license-fee shell game to the show based on Robert Kirkman’s graphic novels to pad its own pockets. It also said that cabler snagged some tax money from the state of Georgia and ran the in-house … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Belgian director Felix van Groeningen has signed with CAA, and also Management 360 and attorney Alan Wertheimer. van Groeningen co-wrote and directed The Broken Circle Breakdown, which was recently nominated for a Best Foreign Film Cesar Award and was Belgium’s Oscar entry for Best Foreign Language film.
The film, which got a slew of festival awards, was acquired for U.S. distribution by Tribeca Film.
EXCLUSIVE: Josh Hutcherson, who has starred in The Hunger Games and Journey To The Center Of The Earth franchises, has signed with CAA. He has been in play since recently leaving ICM, the agency that repped the young actor since he was 11 years old and which booked him into those career-making roles as well as The Kids Are All Right. Hutcherson is managed by The Beddingfield Company. He will next be seen in the two installments of the final Hunger Games book Mockingjay as Peeta Mellark.
Celebrity chef Curtis Stone has signed with CAA. The host of Bravo’s Top Chef Masters, Stone has programming partnerships with Bravo, and ABC’s The Chew through his company Stone’s Food. He’s also set to open his new restaurant Maude in Beverly Hills on February 1. CAA will represent Stone in all areas, including TV, licensing, publishing, speaking, digital and commercial endorsements. Stone continues to be repped by lawyer Tom Hoberman.
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed Nathan Fillion, who is now into the sixth season of headlining the hit ABC series Castle. He’s won two People’s Choice awards for his role as Richard Castle. Fillion, who previously starred in Joss Whedon’s Firefly, also starred in Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, as well as the Whedon-directed Much Ado About Nothing. Fillion had been repped at ICM, and his attorney continues to be Jamie Mandelbaum of Jackoway Tyerman Wertheimer.
Multi-media studio Young Hollywood has signed with CAA. They were with UTA. Founded by R.J. Williams in 2007, Young Hollywood specializes in celebrity and lifestyle videos. Its owns a library of over 2,500 hours of celebrity content, garnering over 2 billion views to date via its distribution network that includes such partners as Yahoo, Hulu, and YouTube, where Young Hollywood has a branded premium channel. It has a broadcast studio set up at the Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles. Young Hollywood has recently expanded into long-form programming, with four series currently in production, and plans to produce over 500 hours of original programming annually. The company continues to be repped by attorney Dave Feldman.
Related: Quentin Tarantino’s New Script: Creating Buzz, And Another Turn For Bruce Dern?
EXCLUSIVE: Learning today that his script The Hateful Eight leaked after he gave it to a small circle of actors, Quentin Tarantino tells me that he’s so upset that he has decided that he will not direct that film next. So basically that means the conversation that will be circulating around town following this story with Tarantino goes from an ensemble Western to a whodunit. As in, which actor or their reps leaked the script that, as a result, is going on the shelf — literally a bookstore shelf, because Tarantino tells me he will publish it first and maybe revisit the prospect of a movie in the next five years.
“I’m very, very depressed,” Tarantino said. “I finished a script, a first draft, and I didn’t mean to shoot it until next winter, a year from now. I gave it to six people, and apparently it’s gotten out today.” He learned that when his longtime agent Mike Simpson began getting phone calls from agents looking to pitch their clients for roles in the ensemble Western.
So who could have done this? “I gave it to one of the producers on Django Unchained, Reggie Hudlin, and he let an agent come to his house and … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Emanuel “Manny” Nunez today joins Paradigm as an agent. He becomes the latest former CAA agent to join Paradigm, and will be reunited with Bob Bookman, Ken Stovitz and Rand Holston. Nunez will work out of the agency’s Beverly Hills headquarters and become a key member of the Film Finance Group, also repping clients in talent and motion picture lit.
Nunez spent two decades at CAA, repping clients and also co-founding the agency’ s Film Finance Group. He helped put together financing and distribution of hundreds of films, and is perhaps best known for spearheading the groundbreaking marriage between India-based Reliance and Steven Spielberg and Stacey Snider’s DreamWorks after they left Paramount Pictures in 2008. Aside from clients that included Antonio Banderas, Nunez also repped high-net-worth financiers all over the world and kept those relationships after he left CAA two years ago and became Managing Director of management/advisory company NuCo Media Group. NuCo raised capital in emerging markets for clients in movies, TV, sports and other media. Considering how much Hollywood prizes high net worth individuals right now, Nunez’s hiring is a coup for Paradigm. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed John Requa & Glenn Ficarra, the emerging writer-director-producer team that just wrapped the Will Smith-Margot Robbie grifter tale Focus for Warner Bros. Requa & Ficarra produced that film through their Zaftig Films banner alongside Denise DiNovi.
Requa and Ficarra, who were repped by WME, made their directing debut on the Jim Carrey-starrer I Love You Phillip Morris. They followed by helming Crazy, Stupid, Love, the comedy that starred Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Julianne Moore and Emma Stone, which grossed $142 million worldwide. They got on the map writing the hit black comedy Bad Santa, which starred Billy Bob Thornton and John Ritter. They have several projects percolating, including a film based on the rise and fall of eccentric software wiz John McAfee, who adopted an extreme lifestyle and set up a compound in Belize. After being implicated in the death of a neighbor, McAfee fled the scene. Requa and Ficarra continue to be lawyered by Jeff Frankel of McKuin, Frankel & Whitehead.
In addition to Spike Lee, CAA motion picture lit agent Billy Hawkins repped the likes of Iron Man scribes Art Marcum and Matt Holloway as well as Josh Boone, who is helming Fox’s The Fault In Our Stars starring Shailene Woodley. We’re being told Hawkins is departing to join a tech startup in LA, essentially heading back to his pre-CAA roots as an investment banker. He is still at the CAA offices and is assisting in transitioning his client roster, so it sounds like this is an amicable parting of ways. Hawkins joined the agency in 2002 as an assistant and went through the agent-trainee program before being promoted.
Related: Jack Whigham Tapped To Co-Run CAA’s Motion Picture Talent Unit
EXCLUSIVE: CAA just made the announcement internally that Jack Whigham has been tapped to co-head the agency’s Motion Picture Talent department with Joel Lubin, who has been the division’s head since 2010. Whigham has been with CAA since 2004 and was promoted to agent in 2007. His clients include Danny McBride, Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hardy, Alexander Skarsgard, Benicio del Toro, writer-director Martin McDonagh and Whigham’s brother Shea Whigham.
The actress has had a long career in Hollywood but has been absent from the scene for many years. The move to CAA from WME signals a return to work for Goldie Hawn, who has been involved for the past several years on her Hawn Foundation, which she founded in 2003 to focus on children and education. The foundation, which has grown to serving children and schools in over five continents, brings together educators, neuroscientists, psychologists and experts in mindful awareness training to help children learn to have a positive outlook and how to help others. Important and honorable work, indeed — especially in light of what has been happening across the country lately with school children at risk at every level. Hawn won both an Oscar and a Golden Globe for best supporting actress for her work in 1969′s Cactus Flower — but the role that everyone loves, of course, is Private Benjamin, which still holds up to this day. Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: Actress-singer Tamera Mowry has signed with CAA in all areas. Mowry, who was previously at UTA, is one of the hosts on Warner Bros’ syndicated daytime talker The Real, which is heading for a fall launch following a successful four-week summer test on seven Fox-owned stations. Mowry began her career on the ’90s sitcom Sister, Sister opposite her twin sister Tia Mowry. The pair later starred on Style Network’s Tia And Tamera. Through her Twilight Productions banner, Mowry co-produced and starred in the Lifetime movie Double Wedding. She next will be seen in a guest role on ABC Family’s Melissa And Joey. Mowry also is repped by Main Title Entertainment and attorney Kevin Garlitz.
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, CAA has signed Robert Stromberg, who graduated from production designer and VFX artist to make his feature directorial debut on the Angelina Jolie-starrer Maleficent. Disney releases the Linda Woolverton-scripted film May 30 with Joe Roth producing. Stromberg, who had been with UTA, won two Academy Awards for Art Direction for Alice In Wonderland and Avatar before getting his feature shot. He was also production designer on Disney’s Oz The Great And Powerful and also worked on visual effects for such films as 2012, Pirates Of The Caribbean: At World’s End and Master And Commander.
EXCLUSIVE: The Closer star/executive producer Kyra Sedgwick has signed with CAA. She was previously at UTA. Sedgwick’s seven-season stint as Deputy Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson on the hit TNT drama earned her an Emmy and a Golden Globe. She recently returned to TNT as an executive producer of drama Proof, which was picked up to pilot by the network. On the feature side, Sedgwick has starred in Born On The Fourth Of July, Singles and Phenomenon. She continues to be repped by manager Jill Littman at Impression Entertainment and attorney Ira Schreck.
EXCLUSIVE: CAA has signed David Oyelowo, who is coming off Lee Daniels’ The Butler, part of the cast nominated for a SAG ensemble award, followed by co-starring in the Christopher Nolan-directed Interstellar opposite Matthew McConaughey and Anne Hathaway. Oyelowo, who has been doing fine work for a long time in everything from Jack Reacher to Red Tails, The Help and Rise Of The Planet Of The Apes, had been with WME. His exit appears to be fallout from the recent exit of Brian Swardstrom to UTA. Oyelowo continues to be represented in the UK by Christian Hodell at Hamilton Hodell and manager Glenn Rigberg at Inphenate. His attorney is Ira Schreck at Schreck Rose Dapello & Adams.
EXCLUSIVE: Doug Liman has signed with CAA. Liman had followed his longtime agent Adam Kanter to Resolution, but has returned to the CAA fold. Liman, who left his TV business at CAA, will be repped in all areas. The helmer, whose big credits include Mr. And Mrs. Smith, most recently completed Edge Of Tomorrow, the science fiction film for Warner Bros that stars Tom Cruise. He’s next committed to direct the recently retitled Sony Pictures historical film The Summit, which is slated to begin production in mid-March. That is the Sheldon Turner-scripted story of George Mallory, the famous British mountaineer who rallied a nation with his attempts to conquer Everest before his Australian rival George Finch. This has gone a couple different ways in casting, but now it looks like Tom Hardy might well play Mallory (he was first choice but temporarily dropped due to scheduling) and that Luke Evans might play Finch. That pic is being produced by Jennifer Klein, Liman and David Bartis.
EXCLUSIVE: In a competitive situation, CAA has signed Stephen Amell, star of the hit CW drama Arrow. Amell, who was a series regular on Hung and recurred on Private Practice, was with SMS Talent. He is managed by Michael Garnett of Leverage and his attorneys are Jason Sloane and Harris Hartman.