William Morris Endeavor agent Tanya Cohen, known as a rising star and champion of female directors, is leaving the agency to pursue a management career.
Cohen recently made partner, and has a roster that includes helmers Gabriela Cowperthwaite (“Blackfish”), Jennifer Yuh Nelson, (“Kung Fu Panda 2”) and comedy veteran Paula Pell.
She is said to be in early negotiations with one of several new management firms to have sprung up in recent months as both a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and the waning standoff between the Writers Guild of America and the talent agencies.
Variety has also learned that motion picture and literary packaging agents Solco Schuit and Simon Faber are departing as a team — considering options that include a management path or producer roles.
Solco worked on teams for the likes of “Freaky” and “Happy Death Day” director Christopher Landon, comedian and actor Jimmy O. Yang, and “Honey Boy” director Alma Har’el. Faber brokered motion picture lit deals for Oscar frontrunner Chloe Zhao (“Nomadland,” “The Rider”) and Matt Ross (winner of the Un Certain Regard director award at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival for “Captain Fantastic”).
Cohen began her career at Paradigm, and also served at Verve Talent and Literary Agency.
The WGA has reached agreements with all of WME’s major competitors and allowed them to resume representing writers. WME and the guild have had a bumpy road to resolution. In late December, a judge urged both parties to reach a settlement. Without one, the two sides would go to a trial — likely around 2022 — to decide whether the guild’s boycott of writers is illegal. In the event WME could prove this, they could resign a slew of clients forced to fire them when the guild declared war over packaging fees. If the WGA were to prevail, they could restart the clock and resume a boycott.