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Schwarzenegger ankles ICM

Arnold Schwarzenegger has departed ICM, ending a 15-year professional relationship that saw the former bodybuilder turn into an international superstar. He has been repped throughout by Lou Pitt.

There was no immediate word of where Schwarzenegger would land, although there was considerable speculation that he would go to William Morris, where he would be repped by Robert Stein.

As of late Tuesday, however, the percentery said that Schwarzenegger had not signed, and Stein could not be reached. Schwarzenegger’s spokeswoman at PMK had no comment.

As one of ICM’s highest earners, along with Mel Gibson, Schwarzenegger’s departure was a blow to the agency, even shocking many of the rank and file, as well as execs at other companies.

His departure — made official in a letter to ICM on Tuesday — comes just a few days after Sylvester Stallone exited William Morris for CAA.

Recent setbacks

There has been considerable talk that both stars have been greatly disappointed by the results of their most recent movies. Stallone’s “Daylight” made $31 million domestically, and Schwarzenegger’s “Jingle All the Way” made $59 million. Stallone is 50, and Schwarzenegger is 49.

Schwarzenegger, for one, has declined to take leads on several projects in recent weeks, including Paramount’s “Pathfinder” and Warner Bros.’ “I Am Legend.”

To be sure, Schwarzenegger has continued to have hits in the action genre, such as Warner Bros.’ “Eraser,” especially in overseas and video returns.

And in contrast to Stallone — who went from CAA to ICM to Morris and back to CAA in just a little over a year — Schwarzenegger stayed with ICM for quite a while. He joined the percentery shortly before the release of “Conan the Barbarian,” his breakout pic.

‘A valued friend’

“It has been an exciting and fulfilling 15 years, and we have enjoyed great success together,” Pitt said in a statement. “Arnold remains a valued friend, and we wish him the best.”

Schwarzenegger has been in discussions with all of the agencies about where to go next. Industry observers thought it unlikely he would land at CAA, where Stallone is also represented. Speculation over Schwarzenegger and Stein, some sources say, comes because they are friends and worked together on “Eraser,” directed by Stein client Chuck Russell.

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