Emile Gladstone, a lit agent with the Broder, Kurland, Webb & Uffner agency, has joined Michael Ovitz’s new production/management entity.
Ovitz confirmed over the weekend that Gladstone had been hired but declined comment on how Gladstone will fit into the overall strategy, which other execs may be involved and how the firm will be structured.
The hire is one of Ovitz’s first publicly acknowledged steps in his plan to create a multimedia management/ production empire that will involve entertainment and sports.
Creating something new
Ovitz has quietly interviewed industry execs for a few undisclosed posts, but has never disclosed publicly any details about the business he’s creating.
All that’s officially known is that Ovitz has rented office space in Beverly Hills and is attempting to secure a National Football League franchise for Los Angeles.
“He’s redefining the business as we know it,” said one source close to the situation. “That’s all I can tell you.”
Gladstone, who has sold more than 40 specs as an agent, will likely handle directors and writers as a manager/ producer in the company.
Ovitz and company will look to package talent, helmers and scribes on projects that they can produce. As one of the only lit agents there, Gladstone will, in effect, run the lit department for Ovitz’s management force.
He will probably work closely with Rick Yorn and Julie Silverman Yorn, two talent managers at Industry Entertainment who are expected to join Ovitz’s flock. Both of them, however, will have to wait six months for their current Industry contracts to expire before joining Team Ovitz.
Gladstone will finish up this week for Broder, Kurland before starting Nov. 16.
The deal for the young agent came about quickly last week. Ovitz met with Gladstone for breakfast on Thursday, and by the end of the day a deal had been struck.
Sources close to Ovitz said the former CAA chieftain and later Disney exec was impressed by Gladstone’s “aggressiveness” and “fresh point of view.”
Gladstone was downright gleeful about the job. “Being a part of this venture with this vision is the opportunity of a lifetime, and I’m honored, thrilled and thankful to be a part of it,” he said. “Everyone wants to be a part of it.”
Gladstone emphasized that the parting with Broder, Kurland was amicable. “Broder, Kurland is the best-run agency in town, and I would only leave there for this opportunity,” he said. “There was nothing else that would have taken me away.”
In the last few months, CAA had been pursuing Gladstone for a potential job, but the process never got to the negotiation stage.
Instead, CAA is settling for a crack at signing two of Gladstone’s best clients, Brandon Camp and Mike Thompson.
Earlier this fall, Gladstone orchestrated what amounted to a three-pic, $10 million deal for Camp and Thompson with Spyglass Entertainment on “Steinbeck’s Point of View,” a blind project and a pitch called “Jackson.”
Camp and Thompson were not expected to make the move to Ovitz’s company, but they are considering changing agencies from Broder, Kurland.
Gladstone would not divulge which clients were coming with him. His Broder, Kurland roster includes Mark Mullin (“Trillion”), Burch Kidd (“Glamour Girl”), Jeff King (“Flight of the Phoenix”), Mark Verheiden (“Time Cop,” “Mask”), Greg Coolidge and Joe Jarvis (“Truth or Dare”), Jay Scherick and David Ronn (“Servicing Sarah”) and Josh Richmonds (“Behind the Sun”).
Gladstone’s looking forward to jumping from agenting to managing. “I have always acted as a manager in my business, helping to develop material,” Gladstone said. “Now, I’ll be able to stay with the projects longer.”
Gladstone has been with Broder, Kurland as a lit agent for more than three years. Before that, he was a percenter with The Agency for about 18 months.