Angelina Jolie very famously has a small team. She still doesn’t have an official publicist. I think I wrote about this a few years ago when I was assigned to the Maleficent junket, that she personally reviews her junket roster, a responsibility typically assigned to a star’s personal PR.
For a few years there, Angelina had no agent. Between 2006 and 2011, she worked only with a manager and a lawyer. In 2011 she signed to UTA and has been with the agency until recently. Variety reports that she’s now with WME. Obviously this is a big get. Angelina Jolie is a big name. And, as I’ve been saying/joking for the last year, she got Disney in the divorce. Marvel’s The Eternals is MONEY, and they’re looking to turn that into a franchise, much like Avengers. Think about the deals, back and front end, that the Avengers made. Any agency would want a piece of that, and I’m curious whether or not UTA still gets a cut of Angelina’s Marvel cash since that happened before she switched to WME.
As for why the switch, because no reason was given…
It could be as simple as chemistry. Maybe she wasn’t feeling it anymore with her (now former) agent, Richard Klubeck. I can’t image though that they wouldn’t have tried hard to keep her, with her star power and her star fee. If they couldn’t keep her, then, maybe what WME was offering – beyond agent chemistry – was more attractive. So…what is it?
Agencies and how they work have been making major headlines this year because of the dispute between the agencies and writers and also the recent report about the Hollywood assistants’ open revolt, which we covered on Show Your Work a couple of weeks ago. A lot of agency deals are now about packaging – the agents and lining up everyone in house – a simple example would be, say, a movie project/franchise that gets packaged at CAA and all talent working on the project come from CAA which, of course, benefits CAA so much with percentages and bonuses. Obviously it’s more complicated than that but where Angelina Jolie is concerned, is it possible that the agency change had to do with a particular IP she was into? And packaging necessitated a change?
Also Endeavour, which owns WME, had plans to go public until a couple of months when Ari Emmanuel, legendary super-agent, pulled the plug. But you don’t go from having an IPO strategy for months, or years, to cancelling them and not still maintain similar, if tweaked, goals, you know? Could Angelina be part of those plans?
Attached - Angelina shopping with daughter Vivienne the other day in LA.