The Highlight Reel
- April was another good month for CAA, which signed Ray Fisher (Cyborg), Shameik Moore (the voice of Miles Morales/Spider-Man) and T.I. (Ant-Man) — three up-and-coming actors of color with plum roles in superhero franchises. Until Justice League is released, it’s hard to say what Fisher can do on the big screen, but clearly Warner Bros. and Zack Snyder believe he’s got the stuff, and he did earn rave reviews for his turn as Muhammad Ali in a 2013 off-Broadway production of Fetch Clay, Make Man. Fisher is also poised to co-star alongside Ezra Miller in a Flash movie that is still searching for a director, as well as have his own solo vehicle, which is still without a writer. Moore is best known for playing Shaolin Fantastic on Netflix’s The Get Down, which he landed following his breakout performance in Dope. He’ll soon be seen as a photographer in James Franco’s indie drama The Pretenders, and of course, he was just cast as Miles Morales in Sony’s animated Spider-Man movie from producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller. Meanwhile, T.I. may be just a supporting character in the world of Ant-Man, but he’s also balancing a rap career with roles in the Jamie Foxx thriller Sleepless and William H. Macy’s upcoming indie movie Krystal. CAA will no doubt be fielding offers for these three actors for years to come.
- CAA also signed Christopher Abbott and Scott Haze, two intense performers who have been doing a steady stream of indies and are starting to branch out into bigger films. Haze frequently works with James Franco and has roles alongside Miles Teller in both Granite Mountain and Thank You for Your Service. Abbott next stars in It Comes at Night, which earned great reviews this past weekend at the Overlook Film Festival. He’ll also be seen opposite Jessica Biel in USA’s The Sinner, which just premiered at Tribeca.
- Not to be outdone, UTA signed its own up-and-coming talent, enlisting rising stars Luke Hemsworth from HBO’s Westworld, Ross Butler from Netflix’s 13 Reasons Why and Fionn Whitehead, who stars in Christopher Nolan’s WWII movie Dunkirk. The latter should catapult Whitehead to stardom, but it’ll be up to UTA to capitalize on that heat. The agency already reps Jeremy Irvine, who never quite took off after landing the lead in Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, though to be fair, he does have two promising indie projects on the horizon. Whitehead will soon be seen alongside Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci in The Children Act, from director Richard Eyre and celebrated writer Ian McEwan. Meanwhile, Luke Hemsworth, who has probably been called The Other Hemsworth at some point in his life, showed up his brothers Chris and Luke with a flashy role on HBO’s Westworld that I’m sure both his siblings are jealous of. The strapping Australian will soon be seen as Wild Bill Hickok in the western Hickok. Butler just left Riverdale and is likely returning for the second season of 13 Reasons Why, which gave a major boost to his social media following.
- WME, ICM Partners and Paradigm also got in on the up-and-comer action, with WME signing Pacific Rim: Uprising star Cailee Spaeny and ICM landing Ana Mulvoy-Ten, who plays Shae Reese on the third season of American Crime. Paradigm, for its part, deserves props for aggressively pursuing Henry Golding, who just came out of nowhere to land the male lead in Crazy Rich Asians. With Hollywood seemingly starved for Asian leading men, it’s safe to say there could be a lot of work out there for Golding if he impresses in his feature debut.
- It wasn’t all about up-and-comers this month as WME signed Tea Leoni, UTA signed Chelsea Handler and ICM signed Orlando Bloom, the latter of whom returns to the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise this month and should get a boost off that. Leoni stars on the hit show Madam Secretary, and Chelsea Handler? Well, she just does cool shit all the time, right?
- And finally, congrats to film finance agent Micah Green, who is leaving CAA to start a new venture with billionaire Dan Friedkin. Green is one of the smartest people I’ve met in this crazy business, and that bodes well for this new company, which also added Dan Steinman from Black Bear Pictures. We wish them the best of luck.
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|Chris Baugh (Bad Day for the Cut co-writer/director)||N/A||CAA|
|Brendan Mullin (Bad Day for the Cut co-writer/producer)||N/A||CAA|
|Joe Talbot (American Paradise director)||N/A||CAA|
|Francis Lee (God’s Own Country director)||N/A||CAA|
|Brad Goreski (Fashion Police co-host)||WME||CAA|
|Dana Harris (MP Talent Agent)||WME||CAA|
|Eugene Jarecki (Why We Fight director)||CAA||UTA|
|Cary Murnion and Jonathan Milott (Bushwick directors)||N/A||UTA|
|Joe Eshenbaugh (Comedy Touring agent)||Innovative||UTA|
|David Klein (Music Agent)||CAA||UTA|
|Geoff “Geespin” Gamere (Music Agent)||N/A||UTA|
|Jake Paul (actor/social media sensation)||N/A||WME|
|Chris Reinacher (YouTube star/viral content creator)||N/A||WME|
|Orlando Bloom (following agent Joey Stanton)||CAA||ICM|
|Chad Michael Murray||N/A||Innovative Artists|
|Matthew Knowles||N/A||3 Arts Entertainment|
|Karyn Smith-Forge (TV Agent)||CBS TV||Verve|
|Ryan Staake (Young Thug: Wyclef Jean video)||N/A||Gotham Group|
|Stuart Manashil (MP Lit Agent)||WME||TBA Management|
|Jen McGowan (Kelly & Cal director)||N/A||Writ Large|
|Micah Green (Film Finance agent)||CAA||Dan Friedkin Venture|
Jeff Sneider | Editor in Chief