CAA agent to head film group

Media Rights Capital has hired longtime CAA agent Tory Metzger as president of its film group.

She will oversee production, business affairs, sales and marketing, and sit on MRC’s greenlight committee.

Metzger, who starts the job in four weeks, will supervise MRC’s current eight-title film slate, in which the company invested $250 million on titles featuring Robert Rodriguez, Sacha Baron Cohen, Walter Salles, Ricky Gervais, Bennett Miller and Cameron Diaz.

Metzger has been an agent for 18 years, 16 of them at CAA. There, she repped Tom Cruise and directors Ang Lee, Cameron Crowe, Peter Hedges, Robert Benton, Spike Jonze, Nicole Holofcener and Richard LaGravanese.

“Sheis completely reflective of what we want MRC to stand for,” said Modi Wiczyk, co-chairman of MRC with Asif Satchu.”

MRC will continue to put pictures together using a formula that was immediately attractive to artists because they get a significant share of ownership. The prominence of those elements has made MRC pictures attractive to major studios, which are committing to distribution arrangements that are essentially licensing deals, since ownership reverts back to creatives and MRC after 15 years or so.

MRC has placed several titles in its current slate with studios. Baron Cohen’s “Bruno” was sold to Universal in a $42.5 million deal for U.S. and English-speaking territories made right before the release of “Borat.” More recently, MRC pacted with Warner Bros. for three of the pictures: the Rodriguez-directed “Shorts,” the Richard Kelly-directed genre film “The Box,” which stars Diaz; and “This Side of the Truth,” which Gervais wrote and directed with Matthew Robinson, with Gervais starring opposite Jennifer Garner.

Wiczyk and Satchu undertook the slate knowing that studios might have holes in their 2009 schedules because of the writers strike and a possible strike by actors.

MRC also has been building momentum in television — recently announcing its first slate and naming Keith Samples to run it — as well as mergers and acquisitions (run by Marni Wieshofer) and digital (run by Dan Goodman). Metzger was the final piece of the puzzle, and continues an ongoing trend of longtime CAA agents who’ve exited for top showbiz jobs.

Metzger began her agenting career at UTA.

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