Four exit CAA for new agencies

Talent changes hands over holiday

A quartet of talent spent the holiday weekend hunting for new representation.

Adrien Brody signed with Paradigm right before Thanksgiving.

UTA signed writer-director Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck and scribe Julian Fellowes.

Endeavor signed Anthony Hopkins.

All four had been repped by CAA, though Brody had been agentless for the past nine months. He signed with Paradigm after being courted by several agencies.

The four are just a sampling of the almost alarming number who have been switching agencies; the list also includes Scarlett Johansson, who jumped from WMA to CAA, and director Phil Joanou, who just landed at UTA.

Agency watchers say some of the switching reflects the anxiety-producing uncertainty in the industry. Jobs have waned since studios largely stopped greenlighting movies over the summer because of the ongoing SAG stalemate. Those studios are preparing to put as many as 40 films into production between spring and summer to line 2010 and 2011 slates, but those plans could be undone by an actors strike.

No matter the agency, the core of client repping comes down to relationships. Hopkins had been adrift since his agent Rick Nicita left CAA to run Morgan Creek.

UTA’s Jeremy Zimmer lost out to CAA in signing von Donnersmarck two years ago when “The Lives of Others” hit the festival circuit before winning the Oscar for foreign-language film. But Zimmer made enough of an impression to now woo the German helmer, who has finished writing several English-language films he hopes to direct in Hollywood.

Johansson and Kiefer Sutherland went to CAA after WMA’s Scott Lambert announced his intention to leave agenting. Long associated with both clients, Lambert has Relativity atop a shortlist of potential destinations.

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