Jessica Lange Formalizes Switch To UTA

By | Saturday January 11, 2014 @ 2:14pm PST
Mike Fleming

jessAs expected, two-time Oscar winner Jessica Lange has followed her agent Brian Swardstrom to UTA from WME. She formally signed this morning. Lange is currently Golden Globe-nominated for her role on American Horror Read More »

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UTA Signs John Lithgow, Patrick Stewart As Clients Follow Brian Swardstrom And Danie Streisand

By | Friday January 10, 2014 @ 12:47pm PST
Mike Fleming

lithstewartEXCLUSIVE: John Lithgow and Patrick Stewart are the latest actors who’ve followed Brian Swardstrom and Danie Streisand to UTA from WME. We told you he was Read More »

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UTA Hires Gotham- Based WME Talent Agent Danie Streisand

By | Friday January 3, 2014 @ 11:11am PST
Mike Fleming

utaEXCLUSIVE: One day after bringing in longtime WME partner Brian Swardstrom, UTA has added his colleague, talent agent Danie Streisand. Like Swardstrom, with whom she shared some clients, Streisand will work out of the agency’s New York offices. I’m … Read More »

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Brian Swardstrom Moves To UTA From WME

By and | Thursday January 2, 2014 @ 11:22am PST

bswBREAKING: Brian Swardstrom has landed at United Talent Agency as a partner, and he will work out of the New York office. Swardstrom comes to UTA after a four-year stint at WME and before that he was a partner at Endeavor and ran the talent department for 11 years. It has to play out to see which clients he will bring over with him to his new digs, but it looks like Swartstrom is going to bring most of them and it is a solid list of actors and directors and this it certainly bolsters UTA’s list.

That list includes Tilda Swinton, Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall, Homeland‘s Damian Lewis, Edward Norton, Diane Lane, Frances McDormand, Bill Paxton, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ben Foster, Emile Hirsch, Rooney Mara, Claire Danes, Michael Douglas, Patrick Stewart, Richard Gere, Jessica Lange, John Lithgow, David Oyelowo, Jonathan Groff, Jamie Bell, Scott Speedman, Ray Stevenson, Julie Christie, and Tracey Ullman, and filmmakers including Fifty Shades Of Grey helmer Sam Taylor-Johnson, Luca Guadagnino, Ira Sachs and Oren Moverman. I’m told the latter two are staying put at WME. Swardstrom will be joining about 12 other agents in the New York office of UTA. This brings the number of UTA partners to 30.

Swardstrom’s exit played out over the past few weeks at WME, but he and agency leaders Ari Emanuel, Patrick Whitesell and others spent so many years ago it wasn’t really acrimonious. They couldn’t come to financial terms. Read More »

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UTA Signs Top Touring Comedian Jeff Dunham

By | Wednesday December 11, 2013 @ 4:07pm PST
Nellie Andreeva

JeffDunham4 copyEXCLUSIVE: Jeff Dunham is big business. The comedian known for his signature ventriloquist act has claimed the top comedy tour each of the past three years, according to Billboard. His upcoming U.S. jaunt, the Disorderly Conduct Tour, was sold … Read More »

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Nicole Richie Signs With WME; Cliff ‘Method Man’ Smith Inks At UTA

By | Monday November 25, 2013 @ 5:24pm PST

Nicole Richie has signed with WME. The web and reality TV personality and fashion maven can be seen on AOL web series #CandidlyNicole, each episode of which brings one of her tweets to life. … Read More »

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Evan Daugherty Puts His Gamer Face On For Mario Bros-Themed Shorts: Video

By | Friday November 15, 2013 @ 1:56pm PST

If you have kids — or, let’s face it, if you’ve been alive during the past few decades — you know about the Mario Bros video game franchise. Evan Daugherty certainly knows the Bros: The Snow Read More »

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Wayne Fitterman Lands As Partner At WME

By | Monday November 11, 2013 @ 10:12am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Deadline revealed exclusively Friday that longtime UTA Production Department co-head Wayne Fitterman had left that agency and was in talks to land at WME. I have confirmed that he has now officially joined WME as a … Read More »

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Is Longtime UTA Production Department Co-Head Wayne Fitterman Heading To WME?

By | Friday November 8, 2013 @ 10:30am PST
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Wayne Fitterman, the longtime co-head of UTA‘s below the line division, is exiting, I’ve learned. The Production Department continues to be headed by Pete Franciosa. The pair have long steered the seven-person department that reps editors, cinematographers, … Read More »

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Celebrity Or Startup, UTA & Kleiner Perkins Adapt Old Models To A New Kind Of Client

By | Thursday October 17, 2013 @ 7:12pm PDT

David Bloom is a Deadline contributor.

One after another, groups of USC engineering students, ranging from thirtysomething doctoral candidates down to baby-faced undergrads, trooped to the stage today. Each pitched their newly honed and toned startup companies before a roomful of potential investors, supporters, and — in a changeup for both — executives from old-line venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and old-line Hollywood talent agency UTA.

The Viterbi Startup Garage Day featured presentations from nine teams (another group couldn’t make the event), all recently done with an intensive 12-week program to build a working tech product and get it on the market. In some cases, Viterbi’s program was a last stop to fine tune a product built on years of research and work. Other companies had been mere proposals last spring. All the young entrepreneurs are hoping to benefit from a program that’s giving them some unexpected friends in influential places.

“Early-stage entrepreneurs need two things: help with business development and access to capital,” said Ashish Soni, the Viterbi School of Engineering faculty member who runs the first-year program. “Kleiner provides access to capital. A lot of what UTA does is dealmaking. You can replace that celebrity (the agency would typically represent) with a startup.” Read More »

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Toronto: UTA Signs ‘Starred Up’ Scottish Helmer David Mackenzie

By | Friday September 20, 2013 @ 12:44pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: UTA has signed Scottish writer/director David Mackenzie, whose latest film Starred Up premiered at Telluride and Toronto. He had been with WME. Starred Up stars Jack O’Connell and Ben Mendelsohn and is about a juvenile offender … Read More »

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Toronto 2013: Late Nights And Lotsa Deals; First Seller’s Market Since The Crash?

By | Wednesday September 18, 2013 @ 11:45am PDT
Mike Fleming

The sales market at the Toronto Film Festival was the healthiest and most vigorous that I can remember, certainly since that barren year when the prestige film bubble burst and the sole festival sale was the Tom Ford-directed A Single Man. During the first five days at least of this Toronto, there was deal action going into the wee hours of the morning. One quality, crowd-pleasing acquisition title after another un-spooled each night and then distributors were left trying to restrain themselves from going past their sober revenue projections as they tried to fill holes in 2014 slates.

At last count, around 28 Toronto films have sold in deals large and small, agents tell me. I thought the biggest challenge for sellers would be to get distributors to focus because of the inordinate amount of titles they launched into the Oscar race with lavish Toronto premieres. Instead, the biggest challenge for sellers, and buyers for that matter, was stamina. We are all getting older, and pretty much everyone was walking around like zombies after taking part Friday and Saturday in the fest’s biggest deals—Focus paying $7 million for world rights to the Jason Bateman-directed comedy Bad Words, and The Weinstein Company paying $7 million and $20 million in P&A for U.S. rights to the John Carney-directed Can A Song Save Your Life?

Dare I say that Toronto was the first seller’s market in as long as I can remember? I asked the top agents at the three most prolific deal making agencies if that was true. None of them were cocky enough to use the “S” word, but all three of them said they expect to clear their considerable inventories by the end of next week. Even if nothing got done until the time everyone but insomniacs are asleep.
Read More »

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Deadline’s Best Film Stories Of The Week

The Toronto International Film Festival kicked off this week, Telluride and Venice wrapped up and Fifty Shades of Grey got its leads. If you missed these and Deadline’s other top film stories this week, here’s your chance to check them out now:

Toronto 2013: Will Deals Take Back Seat As Buyers Focus On Fest Oscar Hopefuls?
By Mike Fleming Jr - The Toronto Film Festival got underway last night with the Gala premiere of the Bill Condon-directed DreamWorks Julian Assange film The Fifth Estate.

Vin Diesel’s ‘Riddick’ Opens Weak Weekend
By Nikki Finke - Welcome to one of the slowest weekends at the domestic box office. The movie season is off to a weak start – just $70M total filmgoing

Dakota Johnson Lands ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Role
By Mike Fleming Jr - EXCLUSIVE: The coveted role of Anastasia Steele has gone to Dakota Johnson in the Universal Pictures and Focus Features adaptation of Fifty Shades Of Grey.

Related: Charlie Hunnam Cast As Christian Grey In ‘Fifty Shades Of Grey’ Read More »

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UTA Swears Off Doing Business With Manager Shelley Browning After Clients Exit

By | Wednesday September 4, 2013 @ 8:22pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: After an erosion in the relationship, the partners at UTA have decided they will no longer do business with manager Shelley Browning and her Magnolia Entertainment. This immediately leads to the exit of Slumdog Millionaire star Dev Patel, who will stay with his manager, Stephanie Comer. She was an agent at UTA before she became a manager at Magnolia. About half a dozen clients will have to make a choice, and the highest profile beyond Patel is Daniel Espinosa, the Snabba Cash helmer who directed the Denzel Washington-Ryan Reynolds hit Safe House and is directing an adaptation of the Tom Rob Smith novel Child 44, with Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace and Joel Kinnaman. Since Espinosa is shooting a movie, I don’t think he will be asked to make a decision until he is up for air.

Related: Magnolia Manager Vs UTA, Round Two

The agency would not comment on why this has happened, but the frosty relationship began months ago and this move occurs after UTA watched several of Browning’s highest-profile clients exit. They include The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo‘s Rapace and Kinnaman, the latter of whom stars in the Robocop reboot. Others who have exited are Rachel McAdams and Rosamund Pike. Pike left right after she won the coveted female lead role opposite Ben Affleck in the David Fincher-directed Gone Girl.

EXCLUSIVE: Rachel McAdams Fires UTA
‘Gone Girl’ Star Rosamund Pike Exits UTA
Read More »

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Lenny Abrahamson To Helm Adaptation Of Best-Selling Novel ‘Room’

By | Tuesday September 3, 2013 @ 12:37pm PDT

What Richard Did director Lenny Abrahamson is set to helm the adaptation of Emma Donoghue’s best-selling novel Room. Donoghue is writing the script. Ed Guiney of Ireland-based Element Films is producing. The story follows a 5-year-old … Read More »

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‘Gone Girl’ Star Rosamund Pike Exits UTA

By | Monday August 19, 2013 @ 2:43pm PDT
Mike Fleming

EXCLUSIVE: Actress Rosamund Pike has exited UTA, the latest in a lengthening list of talent managed by Magnolia Entertainment‘s Shelley Browning to leave the talent agency. This has been in the wind for a couple of weeks, … Read More »

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UPDATE: Evacuations Lifted After Gas Leak Shuts Down UTA, Other Entertainment Businesses In Beverly Hills

By | Wednesday August 7, 2013 @ 5:15pm PDT

4TH UPDATE, 5:46 PM: The evacuation order has been lifted. The Gas Company now says crews were able to get to the leak faster than anticipated and that it has been stopped. The street closures should end shortly.

3rd UPDATE, 5:25 PM: A Read More »

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UTA Playing Hooky Today…In A Good Way

By | Friday July 26, 2013 @ 8:40am PDT

If the phone just rings and rings at UTA today here’s the reason: the agency’s employees are out of the office participating in the second annual Project Impact, a weeklong event organized by the UTA Foundation devoted … Read More »

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Agency Signings: ‘Have And Have Nots’ Tika Sumpter; ‘Boardwalk Empire’s’ Stephen Graham, Ashley Hinshaw & ‘Days Of Our Lives’ Blake Berris

By | Monday July 8, 2013 @ 10:34pm PDT

Tika Sumpter has signed with WME. Appearing in OWN’s freshman hit Tyler Perry drama series The Haves And Have Nots, Sumpter also has been on Gossip Girl and in the feature Sparkle. Sumpter has roles in a … Read More »

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