EXCLUSIVE: Jim Berkus remains chairman and just sent out a notice to staff. Jeremy Zimmer is one of the Hollywood agency’s 6 owners and is a UTA co-founder and managing director. The 53-year-old Zimmer tells me that he took on the CEO role because “it’s important as the company reaches outside its traditional business into finance, international and digital. It’s a title people more readily identify with. My opinion is that this is only 10 years overdue — which is why we’re doing this right now.” Zimmer immediately becomes the agency’s heir apparent to Berkus. Zimmer told me that UTA “is in a great place in terms of stability and solidarity. And also to some degree the partners are acknowledging the role I played in helping us accomplish some of that stuff. It’s positioning for the future.” The other 6 UTA owners are Berkus, Peter Benedek, Jay Sures, Tracey Jacobs, and David Kramer. Zimmer now oversees more than 125 agents and 350 employees in Beverly Hills and New York in motion pictures, television, music, intellectual property, digital media, video gaming, branded entertainment as well as film and television packaging, film finance, corporate consulting, branding, licensing, endorsements, and the representation of production talent.
Zimmer was once known as the bad boy among Hollywood agents but has worked hard to become relentlessly respectable inside the agenting profession. What kept his career going despite some stops and starts was that he was known for … Read More »
EXCLUSIVE: So here it is on the occasion of United Talent Agency’s 20th year in existence — in black and white, the result of 2 years of re-branding, unveiled at the start of the tenpercentery’s Ojai retreat. I like its freshness. What do you think? (The old one really sucked.) The new visual identity was created as part of an overall branding exercise conducted by strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale. “We were after an identity that more truthfully captured the essence of UTA today and better reflected the value we place on our clients’ creativity and our own expanding global footprint,” Jeremy Zimmer, UTA managing director, said in his statement to the agents. “We believe our new identity reflects how we’re different and how we seize opportunities for clients in a radically shifting marketplace. We love our new look, and we know it will carry us far into the future.” I remember when this tenpercentery was birthed in the Neiman Marcus men’s department, a union of Bauer Benedek and Leading Artists. Ah, how quickly they grow up in Hollywood.
EXCLUSIVE: Angelina Jolie has just signed with United Talent Agency, which will represent her as a writer and director. She doesn’t have an agent for her acting work. The signing comes after she made her writing/directorial debut on a Bosnia-set feature that is in postproduction. That untitled film was financed and produced by GK Films. She clearly wants to do more in that area, and UTA becomes Jolie’s first agency representation as a filmmaker. She continues to be represented in all areas by longtime manager Geyer Kosinski and attorney Robert Offer.
“Angelina has a distinct and powerful creative voice, and having read her work and seen parts of the film she’s directing, we’re very certain that she’s entering a new and fruitful phase of her extraordinary career,” said UTA partner Rich Klubeck, who’s leading the team of agents representing Jolie’s filmmaking pursuits.
He just left ICM last week. Paul Giamatti has signed with UTA in all areas. The Oscar nominee (Cinderella Man) and Emmy winner (John Adams) will next be seen in Win Win, and then Barney’s Version based on the best-selling novel. He was nominated for 45 separate awards between 2001 and 2008, and won 26 of them. Giamatti will continue to be managed by Perri Kipperman.
EXCLUSIVE: David Kramer, a 16-year veteran who started in the mailroom, and Tracey Jacobs, a 10-year veteran who came over after a long career at ICM, have been promoted to members of United Talent’s governing board of directors. Agency head Jim Berkus is telling the tenpercentery about it right now. Both agents were in play, with Endeavor courting Jacobs hard, and CAA’s Richard Lovett calling Kramer twice a day.
Jacobs especially was hamstrung: she can’t leave UTA without also leaving a shitload of money behind her. Because in addition to Johnny Depp, she has two big TV stars that are integrally involved in UTA television packages: William Petersen in CSI and Vincent D’Onofrio in Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Harrison Ford, Rachel McAdams, Jason Bateman, and directors Lasse Hallstrom, Greg Mottola, Mike White. With these golden handcuffs on her wrists, no agency wants to write that huge check to free her. Kramer reps John August, Charlie Kaufman, Jonathan Dayton & Valeria Faris, Michael Goldenberg, Curtis Hanson, Ehren Krueger, Harold Ramis, Robin Swicord, Pam Brady, David Self, David Diamond & David Weissman. Kramer has also been a point man for Judd Apatow who has not yet decided on his agency future. (See my previous, Apatow Says He’s Still At UTA For Now.)
Today’s moves follow the recent shake-up within UTA after the agency rumbled … Read More »
Marc Korman was United Talent’s most junior partner, one of 20, and one of six TV lit agents at the tenpercentery. Now he’s jumping to Endeavor talent agency where I’m told he’s joining several good friends. Korman had been part of the UTA television department since 2002, representing showrunners, directors and playwrights and specializing in one-hours. He’s a former criminal defense lawyer out of Chicago who joined UTA from Michael Ovitz’s short-lived Artists Management Group, where he was a manager.
UPDATE: Vince Vaughn Signs With CAA
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve confirmed that Vince Vaughn has axed both his manager Eric Gold and his agency United Talent. Someone close to Vince just told me he did it by cell phone. He’s still with his attorney Debbie Klein. He’d been a UTA client since 1993 (three years before his breakout Swingers, which was partly filmed in the apartment of an agency assistant) and a Gold client since 2005′s Wedding Crashers. Vaughn’s last movie, Fred Claus did little business. A $20 million a pic star, he recently pacted for a two-year, first-look producing deal with Universal and his Wild West Picture Show Productions which is run by his sister.
UPDATE: Vaughn is telling people today that he made the moves because his manager and his agency “didn’t get along at all” and it was too much drama in his life. However, I’ve heard from a lot of moguls in Hollywood that Vaughn was quite adept at making his own off-camera drama on nearly every recent movie he did.