William Morris and endeavour have yet to vote on the deal that would turn the two agencies into WME Entertainment, but two agents have already announced they won’t be part of the combined firm.
Confirming speculation that he’s leaving William Morris, JJ Abrams’ agent David Lonner has said he won’t be part of WME—because his bosses told him he wasn’t allowed to stay.
Variety reports, “[I]t’s understood that he was abruptly informed last week that he would not be part of the new agency by WMA chief Jim Wiatt and endeavour topper Ari Emanuel.”
[H]e could become a manager and co-rep Abrams with WMA, or become an agent elsewhere who tries to take Abrams, whose commissions on [his recent deal with Paramount] will stay with WMA.
Whatever Lonner decides, it’s likely his other clients Alexander Payne and Jon Turteltaub will go with him.
Meanwhile, endeavour partner and co-founder Tom Strickler has resigned from his agency. Strickler represents directors Peter Berg (Hancock, The Kingdom), Peter Chelsom (Serendipity, Hannah Montana: The Movie), writers Chris McQuarrie (Valkyrie) and Shane Black (the Leathal Weapon franchise, Last Action Hero, The Long Kiss Goodnight, and Kiss Kiss Bang Bang) and actors Shane Black, Michael Douglas and Dan Futterman. It’s unknown what will happen to his clients or where Strickler will go.
*This post originally stated that Tom Strickler represented Michael Douglas. We’ve since been informed that Douglas is repped by Ari Emanuel and Adam Isaacs at endeavour. Also, Shane Black does act occasionally, but he’s better known for his writing gigs. We regret the errors.
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