Former CAA agents Greg McKnight, Greg Cavic and Nick Nuciforo are also heading to UTA as partners.
As a group, Heyman, Lesak, McKnight, Cavic and Nuciforo represent leading artists working in film, television, digital and comedy touring. Their clients include Will Ferrell, Jim Parsons, Melissa McCarthy and Vin Diesel.
UTA’s statement said all clients are expected to follow, but sources believe that Ferrell and McCarthy are still in play for representation. Sources have confirmed another major star, Chris Pratt, will be leaving CAA and joining Heyman and Lesak at UTA.
McCarthy would be a huge loss to CAA if she were to leave; Ferrell, along with his Gary Sanchez production banner, also is a huge asset, given all the projects he is involved with.
“Jason, Marty, Gregory, Greg and Nick are among the most respected agents in our industry,” said UTA managing directors David Kramer and Jay Sures and CEO Jeremy Zimmer in a joint statement. “We’re excited to have them join UTA’s collaborative culture, and we know that they and their clients will thrive here.”
Heyman and Lesak both served as partners at UTA in the past.
The news is a major jolt to CAA’s comedy department, and will surely deplete a chunk of its talent in that field. Sources tell Variety that agents like Heyman and Lesak are regarded as the “kings of repping comedic talent”; however, there was feeling among the five agents that no matter how hard they worked, the chances were not good that they would be able to segue into top positions at CAA like those held by Bryan Lourd, Kevin Huvane and Richard Lovett.
UTA recently promoted eight additional agents to partner. UTA has nearly 200 agents working in Beverly Hills and New York.