EXCLUSIVE UPDATE: Deadline has confirmed several more who’ll be part of the dozen or so principal agents turning manager/producers and joining this venture being hatched by Pete Micelli with hedge fund billionaire Steve Cohen and two other major financing sources. A big name to add is Rich Cook, a star WME lit agent who ran the motion picture lit department for the agency before moving temporarily to London and repping his clients from there. Also joining are four sharp UTA agents (at least two are partners) on the television side: Mackenzie Roussos, Susie Fox, Chelsea Mckinnies, and Lucinda Moorhead. There will be much more to discuss, including which clients will become repped by the management company and how that will work with the agencies they are leaving. This is happening in real time and some of the participants are clearing themselves from their agencies to make this move, but this is certainly the birth of a formidable new venture I’m told will be steered by a diverse group.
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Got a confirm from Cook, who said in a statement: “I am beyond grateful for my time at WME. I couldn’t have hoped for a better journey fueled with unrelenting support, unwavering leadership and a family that I look forward to collaborating together in this next chapter.”
EARLIER EXCLUSIVE, 4:08 pm pst: It was just announced internally at CAA and it is a bombshell. Pete Micelli, the former CAA television agent who in April left his post as Chief Strategy Officer at eOne, will spearhead a new management/production company that will be packed with top agent talents.
Jack Whigham, Mick Sullivan, Dave Bugliari, and Michael Cooper are in for sure, and I’m hearing there is financing from at least three major investors including Steve Cohen, the hedge fund titan who is attempting to buy the New York Mets. Cohen has been floating this idea with Micelli, under the name Moxie — the venture won’t be called that — and we’re hearing as many as a dozen principals will start the company, so there are agents from other percenteries, including UTA and WME. These exits are said to be amicable, an indication of a changing landscape after the pandemic has stressed every single major agency and caused layoffs, furloughs, pay cuts and other woes all over Hollywood. Agencies haven’t worked from their offices or had in person staff meetings since March, and it seems doubtful that will change for the rest of the year.
The agents I’ve listed in the initial post and the update rep some of the top talent in the game, and will likely continue relationships as manager/producers. The talent includes Margot Robbie, Bradley Cooper, Tiffany Haddish, Tom Hardy, Gabrielle Union, Kiera Knightley, Johnny Depp, Chris Hemsworth, Aidy Bryant, Will Smith, Dan Stevens, Ramy Youssef and many others.
I just received a statement that the exiting CAA quartet sent internally:
“We loved and appreciated our time at CAA. We have deep friendships that will be lifelong. We’ve learned so much. We are so excited to work closely with CAA in partnership with our new company. “
This follows another CAA vet, Scott Greenberg, whom Deadline revealed will exit CAA to become a partner at another management/production company LBI Entertainment. After all the wear and tear of the pandemic, and the long rancor with the Writers Guild, management seems a brighter arena than ever.