EXCLUSIVE: This seems to be the season for client migration. In a day where several agencies saw prominent players move, filmmakers David Siegel and Scott McGehee have just signed with ICM Partners. The duo most recently helmed What Maisie Knew, the film that premiered in Toronto and was released by Millennium Entertainment, with Julianne Moore, Steve Coogan, Alexander Skarsgard and Onata Aprile starring. They also helmed the Richard Gere-Juliette Binoche starrer Bee Season, the Joseph Gordon-Levitt starrer Uncertainty and their breakout film was the dark Tilda Swinton starrer The Deep End. The duo most recently was repped by WME.
The Parenthood star has signed with ICM Partners. Monica Potter snagged a Golden Globe nom for her role as a soccer mom battling an illness on the NBC drama. She also was a regular on TNT’s 2009 drama Trust Me and recurred on Boston Legal. Her big-screen credits include The Last House On The Left, Saw, Along Came A Spider and Patch Adams. Potter also is represented by The Schiff Company and Felker Toczek. ICM last week signed Spike Lee; David Zellner and Nathan Zellner, the filmmakers behind Sundance Jury Prize winner Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter; and actor Pierre Boulanger of Sundance pic God Help The Girl.
EXCLUSIVE: This year’s Sundance Film Festival is over but for three participants a whole new ride is about to begin. ICM Partners have signed up Special Jury Prize winners Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter’s David Zellner and Nathan Zellner as well as Pierre Boulanger of God Help The Girl. The signings for the trio are in all areas. The Zellner Brothers remain managed by Mosaic. Boulanger is repped by Agence Oz in Paris, Curtis Brown Group in the U.K., Mosaic and law firm Nelson Davis Wetzstein, LLP.
Written, directed and co-starring the Zellner brothers and based on an urban legend, Kumiko features Oscar-nominated Rinko Kikuchi as a lonely Japanese woman who believes a pile of money buried in the movie Fargo is actually real. So she sets out over sea and land to Minnesota to find it. In competition in this year’s U.S. Dramatic category, Kumiko took home a Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the Sundance Awards on January 25. Part coming of age tale and part indie-pop musical, God Help The Girl is the directorial feature debut of Belle and Sebastian lead singer Stuart Murdoch. The film starring Boulanger with Emily Browning and Olly Alexander, among others, GHTG won the World Cinema Dramatic Special Jury …
BREAKING: Spike Lee, one of the stalwarts of New York filmmakers who helped put modern indie filmmaking on the map, has signed with ICM Partners. The move comes less than two weeks after his agent Billy Hawkins exited CAA, and ICM has just made the signing known to staffers. The agency jump comes 25 years after the release of Do The Right Thing, the Lee “joint” that landed Oscar nominations for Original Screenplay and put the helmer on the path to such vital films as Jungle Fever, Mo’ Better Blues and Malcolm X, which drew two more Oscar nominations. The move marks a return to the ICM fold, his home before moving to CAA.
Lee is as busy as ever now, and is in postproduction on Da Sweet Blood Of Jesus, a vampire pic for which he raised money via Kickstarter. His fundraising efforts on the site drew almost $1.3 million — and like the old days he pounded the pavement for the project, including appearances on CNN and CNBC to promote his campaign, saying, “I’m bringing people to Kickstarter who never even heard of Kickstarter.” He’s also working on another feature docu after successes in the genre with pics like 2006′s Hurricane Katrina tale When The Levees Broke. He also is at work on the docu Go, Brazil, Go, about that country’s economic rise. (Lee was nominated for his second Oscar in 1998 for the documentary feature 4 Little Girls.)
EXCLUSIVE: In show business, many start as agents before segueing to a career in the executive ranks. J.C. Mills is taking the opposite route, joining ICM Partners‘ International Television and Media Department in New York today. He is expected to be focused on non-scripted but also cover other aspects of the international TV marketplace. Mills comes from National Geographic Channel where he spent the past two years as a development executive, shepherding unscripted pilots, specials and series and working with oversees producers on international formats. Before joining Nat Geo in January 2012, Mills was VP Acquisitions & Business Development, North America for Zodiak Rights and prior to that was a sales executive at Shine International in the UK. In the agenting ranks, Mills joins his wife, Ashley Davis Mills, who is a New York-based TV agent at rival CAA. Here’s the official release announcing his hire that ICM Partners just sent out:
EXCLUSIVE: Susan Sarandon has signed with UTA only about a month after leaving ICM Partners where she had been for about 25 years. The Oscar-winning actress next stars in the upcoming Melissa McCarthy road comedy Tammy at New Line playing a rough-and-tumble grandmother and also is starring in and co-producing a half-hour single-camera comedy at NBC in which she stars with daughter Eva Amurri Martino. That project, produced by UTA-repped Le Train Train, recently received a pilot production commitment from the network. Sarandon is one of the best actresses working today, often nominated for Oscars and Golden Globes (and other awards) and critically acclaimed each time she appears in film. She has had a long and noteworthy career from everyone’s favorite The Rocky Horror Picture Show to her Oscar-nominated performance in Atlantic City to winning an Oscar for her performance as a nun struggling to help a man on death row in Dead Man Walking. She will repped by a team of agents led by UTA partner and talent department co-head Shani Rosenzweig. She will continue to be repped by her attorney Jon Moonves.
Related: Susan Sarandon Leaving ICM Partners
ICM Partners has promoted two to agent. Laura Gordon has been upped to agent in the Television Literary department, where she most recently served as coordinator. Ryan Wackerman also has been promoted from coordinator to agent in the International Television and Media Department. Both joined ICM Partners in 2011 and served in the agency’s trainee program.
EXCLUSIVE: The Oscar-winning actress has exited longtime agency ICM Partners, where she has been for more than 17 years after coming over initially with Martha Luttrell, who retired in 2008. ICM Partners put her in the upcoming Melissa McCarthy film Tammy at New Line and also a half-hour single-camera comedy at NBC in which she co-produces and stars with daughter Eva Amurri Martino that recently received a pilot production commitment. She may land at CAA with her old agent Fred Specktor but has not yet signed at that agency. Stay tuned.
EXCLUSIVE: Writer, director, and actress Iram Haq has signed with ICM Partners in a competitive pursuit. Haq made her feature debut with the 2013 Toronto Film Festival entry I Am Yours, which Norway selected as its Best Foreign Language Oscar submission. Pic follows a Pakistani-Norwegian single mother (Game Of Thrones‘ Amrita Acharia) who struggles with her love life and her disapproving, traditional mother. I Am Yours won Best Feature at the Lübeck Film Festival in Germany and will play the 25th Palm Springs International Film Festival next month. Haq’s next film The Way Back will shoot at the end of 2015 with I Am Yours producers Mer Film. Her 2009 short film Little Miss Eye Flap premiered at Sundance, screened in competition at Venice, and won the Ellen Award at the 2010 Aspen Shortsfest. Have a look at the trailer for I Am Yours:
The actor has been active on both the big and small screens and was pursued by multiple agencies. ICM Partners has inked Derek Luke, the Antoine Fisher star who most recently starred on the big screen in Baggage Claim and is in next year’s Ryan Reynolds starrer Selfless and the untitled Chris Messina movie. Other feature credits include Friday Night Lights, Glory Road and Catch a Fire. On the TV side, he starred in CBS’ drama pilot Second Sight and on the NBC paramedic drama Trauma. He also had arcs on FX’s The Americans and TNT’s Hawthorne. He is managed by Greenlight Management and attorneys Matt Johnson and Wendy Kirk.
EXCLUSIVE: Al Pacino has returned to ICM Partners, rejoining the agency almost exactly a year after he left to join CAA. Pacino’s exit came right after the agency restructured and longtime head Jeff Berg left to start the agency Resolution. Berg had been part of the team that repped Pacino, along with John Burnham and Adam Schweitzer. They signed the iconic actor after his agent Rick Nicita left to join Morgan Creek, prompting Pacino to end a 22-year run at CAA. ICM Partners has settled down under its new structure and Burnham and Schweitzer have gotten Pacino back. Nicita is his manager. Pacino is involved in many of the same projects, including a date to play the late Penn State head football coach Joe Paterno in the Edward R. Pressman-produced Brian DePalma-directed Happy Valley, a film about how Paterno’s rep as college’s winningest coach was tarnished by a scandal in which his former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky was accused of and eventually convicted of child molestation perpetrated under the noses of athletic department heads that included Paterno. Pacino also stars as a decadent rocker in the Dan Fogelman-directed Imagine, and plays the title character in the David Gordon Green-directed Manglehorn.
RELATED: Al Pacino Returns To CAA
EXCLUSIVE: Australian actress Lucy Fry (Mako Mermaids, Lightning Point) has signed with ICM Partners after a competitive agency pursuit. The 20-year-old makes her stateside debut next year in The Weinstein Co.’s Valentine’s Day release Vampire Academy, based on Richelle Mead’s best-selling young adult novels. Fry will split her time between Los Angeles and Australia. She’s also repped by IAM’s David Guillod and Mike Gillespie and by Monica Keightley in Australia.
Good Day For Ed Oxenbould As ICM Partners Signs Title Character From ‘Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day’
EXCLUSIVE: ICM Partners has signed Ed Oxenbould, the young thesp who just wrapped production opposite Steve Carell and Jennifer Garner on the Miguel Arteta-directed Alexander And The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day for Disney and 21 Laps. The film marks the 12-year-old’s feature debut, and is the adaptation of the popular children’s book written by Judith Viorst, which is one of the rare ones you can read to your kids ad nauseum and not feel like your eyeballs are bleeding after the 100th time. He is co-represented by Coast To Coast Talent Group and managed by Industry Entertainment in the U.S. and Sophie Jermyn Management in Australia.
This is the first elevation of agents to the partner level since ICM Partners completed its management buyout in 2012 and brings the number of partners to 38. The promotions come from both coasts and represent the departments of talent, motion picture literary, television, publishing, theater, concerts, global branded entertainment, and motion picture production. The new partners are co-head of motion picture literary Doug MacLaren, publishing agents Kris Dahl and Jennifer Joel, Hildy Gottlieb and Brian Mann from the agency’s talent department, theater head Patrick Herold, concerts’ Mark Siegel and Chris Smith, head of global branded entertainment Carol Goll, motion picture production’s Dan Baime, and international television and media’s Lori York.
Agencies fighting over commissions on deals negotiated in the past for clients who have now moved on is nothing new in the courts but fighting over deals yet to happen is certainly a novel twist. Yet that’s what happened today when Jeff Berg’s Resolution filed a declaratory relief complaint (read it here) against his former agency ICM Partners over the latter’s seemingly persistent claims that it is entitled to commissions that “Resolution earns for some deals Resolution either has negotiated or will negotiate through the agents who used to be ICM Partners employees.” Essentially ICM, which has seen a numbers of its agents and their clients leave to join Berg since he formed Resolution in January, wants to enforce the employment contracts it had with the agents who left. To that end, ICM sent the new agency “a number of claim letters” supposedly “reserving rights,” according to the complaint filed in LA Superior Court Wednesday. Now Resolution wants the court to declare that “Plaintiff owes no duty whatsoever to Defendants with respect to commissions.” Interestingly, this comes at the time of year when the agencies see the most movement as contracts are up and bonuses are assigned. In their civil case request for a 5-day jury trial, Resolution also …
ICM Partners has promoted two to agent. Patrick Feldman, who’s worked in the international TV department since 2010, has been promoted to agent in the same division. He’ll work out of the LA and London offices through the end of October, when he’ll relocate to the London location. Alex Saks has also been promoted to agent, in the international and independent film department. She’s been with ICM since last year when she joined the agency as a coordinator.
EXCLUSIVE: It was a good Toronto Film Festival for Finnish helmer Dome Karukoski. His Heart Of A Lion premiered earlier this month at the fest, and during the run of the event he was tapped to make his English-language debut on Tom Of Finland. All of that action got the major agencies interested, and he just inked with ICM Partners. Heart Of A Lion, written by Aleksi Bardy, centers on the head of a gang of racist skinheads who finds himself questioning his personal prejudices and values after falling for a waitress whose son is of African descent. It bows next month in Karukoski’s native Finland. Tom Of Finland is the biopic of Finnish artist Touko Laaksonen, who revolutionized the image of gay men, paved the way for greater tolerance and openness, and influenced designers like Tom Ford and Jean Paul Gaultier.
ICM Partners‘ TV lit agent and partner Mark Gordon has been named the new head of the agency’s television literary department. He will succeed Kevin Crotty and Chris von Goetz who, after leading the department since the ICM/BWCS merger, will continue to focus on their clients and duties as board members. “In addition to being a passionate advocate for his own clients, Mark has taken a strong leadership position in expanding the television side of the business for many of our clients operating in other areas of the agency,” Crotty and von Goetz said in a joint statement. “He is the ideal choice to oversee the interests of our clients in an evolving landscape.”
Gordon has been a rising star at BWCS and then ICM. He began his career at BWCS while still a student at Northwestern University, after he called up agency partner Chris Silbermann following a guest lecture Silbermann gave to his class. Gordon became an agent at BWCS in 2005 and was named partner at ICM Partners in May 2012. TV packages spearheaded by him this season include projects from Ellen DeGeneres, Vince Gilligan, David Shore, Samuel L. Jackson, Patricia Cornwell, John Shiban, Neil LaBute, Josh Gad, Susan Sarandon and the estate of Dr. Seuss. Gordon also was instrumental in putting together the agency packages on Breaking Bad (AMC), whose creator Gilligan he has …
EXCLUSIVE: This would be considered a major loss for any agency as Mark Gordon is among the top nonwriting TV producers with several shows that have gone the distance, including ABC’s Grey’s Anatomy and Private Practice, CBS’ Criminal Minds and Lifetime’s Army Wives. Gordon had been with Chris Silbermann for more than a decade, first at BWCS and then at ICM, and Silbermann guided the producer as he built his Mark Gordon Co. from scratch into a several-hundred-million-dollar pod. The timing of Gordon’s departure is surprising. It comes on the heels of the breakout success of his latest series, Ray Donovan, which broke ratings records for Showtime this summer. It also comes at the height of selling season and in the midst of the Mark Gordon Co.’s big four-year deal at ABC Studios, which has two more years on it.