In yet another seismic change on the talent rep front, Jennifer Lopez has parted company with both Endeavor and Handprint Entertainment, where she had long been represented by Benny Medina.
Early speculation is that Lopez will wind up at CAA.
Lopez has left Endeavor partner Patrick Whitesell, the longtime representative of her fiance, Ben Affleck. She signed with him last year shortly after exiting ICM. Reports were that her ICM agent Ed Limato had grown frustrated by having to work through Medina, who guided Lopez in both her rise to movie stardom and her transition to major recording star as well. It appears that Whitesell had the same kind of difficulties, because he essentially informed Lopez last week that she would have to choose between Endeavor and Medina.
Though Medina could not be reached at deadline, Endeavor confirmed the parting of the ways with a statement from its partners:
“Endeavor has parted company with Jennifer Lopez. Jennifer is an incredibly talented actress and a good friend, and we wish her much continued success. However, as an agency, we were no longer able to work with her manager, Benny Medina. We thought it best for Jennifer and Endeavor that we part company at this time.”
Lopez chose to break cleanly with both agency and manager, though she remains with attorney Barry Hirsch.
A spokesman for Lopez said “These were difficult decisions because change is always tough. Jennifer has the highest regard for Patrick. She is also deeply appreciative of everything that Benny has done for her career.”
Though she has transitioned to a platinum-selling artist, Lopez has been too busy to tour very much. Coming off the hit “Maid in Manhattan,” she has upcoming “Gigli” and “Jersey Girl,” and just starred in the Lasse Hallstrom-directed “An Unfinished Life” opposite Robert Redford and is about to begin work opposite Richard Gere in the Peter Chelsom-directed Miramax remake “Shall We Dance?”
Should Lopez join CAA, it will further strengthen the hand of an agency which has suddenly built an arsenal of top femme talent.
Tuesday, longtime ICM agent Tracy Brennan jumped to CAA. Her client list includes Kate Beckinsale, Brittany Murphy and Kim Cattrall, as well as Alan Cumming and Sean Bean.
Rising stars Murphy and Beckinsale were standouts on ICM’s list of female stars. That agency has seen the exit of Julia Roberts, Lucy Liu, Jennifer Lopez and Cameron Diaz over the past eight months.
At CAA, they join actresses Roberts, Diaz, Liu, Jennifer Aniston, Julianne Moore, Renee Zellweger, Nicole Kidman and Sandra Bullock, as well as Kate Hudson, Naomi Watts and Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Brennan, 35, began her career at ICM as an assistant to the agency’s former head of West Coast operations, Bill Block.
(Dana Harris contributed to this report.)