There’s a first time for everything, and for Spike Lee that means he finally has an agent, signing yesterday with International Creative Management, seven years after directing his first feature film.
All of Lee’s previous deals were negotiated by his attorneys at the New York entertainment law firm Frankfurt Garbus, Klein & Selz.
In fact, Lee had always been vocal in the past about not wanting to have an agent involved in his career.
ICM will handle Lee’s activities as actor/writer/director/producer as well as represent all of the entertainment-related businesses that fallunder his New York-based 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks operation.
Regarding the signing, ICM chairman Jeff Berg said yesterday, “We look forward to working with Spike Lee, who is one of the preeminent filmmakers.”
Additionally, noted Berg, “We plan on having the resources of our agency fully support 40 Acres and a Mule Filmworks production company in all areas of the media.”
Lee, who will be on a European media promotional tour for “Malcolm X” from Saturday through Jan. 22, does not have his next picture set up yet, according to Berg. Universal has first look at his next original script.
Lee recently established a new record company, 40 Acres and a Mule Musicworks and according to Berg plans to expand his business activities into other markets , including TV and publishing.
“He’s an entrepreneurial filmmaker who has a real public visibility,” said the ICM chairman.
Lee’s retail store, Spike’s Joint, which has outlets in Brooklyn and Los Angeles, will not be part of ICM’s representation of the actor-filmmaker.
Lee, whose current release “Malcolm X,” starring Denzel Washington, is his sixth feature, made his film debut in 1986 with the independently produced comedy “She’s Gotta Have It” and followed with “School Daze,””Do the Right Thing” (for which he received an Oscar nomination for best original screenplay), “Jungle Fever” and “Mo’ Better Blues.”
Lee also has produced and directed music videos for Miles Davis, Tracy Chapman, Branford Marsalis, Anita Baker, Public Enemy and Steel Pulse.
His commercial work was initiated in 1988 with his popular Nike Air Jordan ads, on which he collaborated with basketball star Michael Jordan on seven commercials. Lee is also known for his Levi’s Button-Fly 501 TV spots.