The Highlight Reel
- Over the past few years, Katie Couric has become a brand name in the documentary space, highlighting important social issues in films such as Fed Up and Under the Gun. She’s a beloved TV personality thanks to her time on the Today show, and frankly, she has a versatility that WME should be able to do a lot with. Solid signing right there. The same goes for Mark Boal. I may not have liked Detroit, but I’ll always respect Boal, and there’s no arguing that his signing was a coup for WME. There are only so many screenwriters who the public knows by name, like Aaron Sorkin or Charlie Kaufman. Boal is one of them. He has a brand, and I have no doubt that his next film will be a return to form for the former journalist.
- Elsewhere, WME also signed Insurgent/Allegiant director Robert Schwentke and up-and-coming actor Sunny Suljic, the “hottest 11-year-old thesp in town,” according to a breathless Deadline exclusive posted an hour after our own. Suljic co-stars alongside Colin Farrell and Nicole Kidman in the upcoming A24 film The Killing of a Sacred Deer, and has been busy shooting Jonah Hill’s directorial debut Mid-90s. Will he become the next Jonathan Lipnicki, or the next Joseph Gordon-Levitt? Meanwhile, Schwentke is a complete mystery to me right now. Will he get the chance to make something he’s passionate about (and what is that, exactly?), or is he a Hollywood hack for hire (not that there’s anything wrong with that). I just want to know if he’s a hired gun, or someone I should be personally invested in as a filmmaker.
- Not to be outdone, Paradigm made a bunch of signings in July, highlighted by Cesar Millan, the “Dog Whisperer” and TV personality who’s an appealing family-friendly brand with more than a million Twitter followers. Paradigm also signed Rhys Coiro, who I always liked as Billy Walsh on Entourage. I hope Hollywood finds him something cool, like his own cop show. I could also see him as a serial killer or a doctor, perhaps the Noah Wyle to someone else’s George Clooney. Just saying, I like this guy, and I hope Paradigm finds him more work. The agency also signed Miranda Richardson, and don’t sleep on that one. The English actress is said to be really good in Jake Gyllenhaal’s Boston Marathon bombing drama Stronger, and she could prove to be a serious factor in this year’s awards race.
- Anonymous Content made a smart move in signing The Onion, which used to be represented by David Miner, now at 3 Arts. The signing comes as the Onion aims to further expand its film and TV production business for its brands, which include A.V. Club and ClickHole. The goal is to develop projects based on the humor site’s content, and build on the Onion’s new movie pact with Lionsgate, as well as its weekly series on Fusion TV.
- And finally, while a lot of agencies were busy staffing up and promoting coordinators, a special shoutout is due to a pair of Communications chiefs — agency veteran Brad Turell, who takes over at ICM for Michelle Suess and Sarah Shulman, an up-and-coming flack who’s been tapped to head communications for Verve. I had a great experience working with Sarah at ICM, which is of course in wonderful hands with Paradigm veteran and family man Turell. Congrats to both of them and their respective new agencies!
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|Mark Boal (Oscar-winning writer, The Hurt Locker)||CAA||WME|
|Robert Schwentke (Insurgent/Allegiant director)||CAA||WME|
|Poppy Delevingne (Actress/model)||N/A||WME-IMG|
|Quinn Shephard (Blame writer-director)||N/A||WME|
|Ken Olin (This Is Us executive producer)||N/A||WME|
|French Montana (Rapper/singer)||N/A||WME|
|Justine Ezarik (aka YouTube creator iJustine)||UTA||WME|
|Lisa and Lena Mantler (Social media sensations)||N/A||WME|
|Hilary Zaitz Michael (Lit Packaging agent)||Groundswell||WME|
|Ashley Holland (TV agent)||CAA||WME|
|Neil Bajaj (Talent agent)||N/A||UTA|
|Steven Bombino (Talent agent)||N/A||UTA|
|Jenna Gates (Talent agent)||N/A||UTA|
|David Zedeck (Global Head of Music)||N/A||UTA|
|Cody Simpson (Australian singer-songwriter)||N/A||ICM|
|Ian Arougheti (Comedy agent)||Innovative||ICM|
|Kristen Konvitz (Film Finance agent)||Stay Gold||ICM|
|Oliver Wheeler (Film Finance agent)||N/A||ICM|
|Brad Turell (Head of Corporate Communications)||Paradigm||ICM|
|Cesar Millan (Dog Whisperer host)||WME||Paradigm|
|Sara Nestor (Motion Picture agent)||N/A||Verve|
|Nicky Mohebbi (Motion Picture agent)||N/A||Verve|
|Sarah Shulman (Head of Corporate Communications)||ICM||Verve|
|Mary Gu Shuhang (CEO)||N/A||CAA China|
|The Onion||N/A||Anonymous Content|
|Shawna Craig||N/A||Chrome Entertainment|
|Malese Jow||Authentic||Abrams/Mach 1|
|Todd Eisner (Talent agent)||Innovative||Abrams Artists|
|Matt Gogal (Talent agent)||TalentHouseLA||Abrams Artists|
|Katie Gamelli (Theatrical Lit agent)||N/A||Abrams Artists|
|Lucia Chiao (Manager)||Green Room||Rothman Andres|
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief