The powerful talent agent and film broker behind Cruise is stepping down as UA executiveÂ By Brian Frederick
HOLLYWOOD, CA (RUSHPRNEWS) 08/19/08 – – “I am proud of all that we have accomplished in the past two years,” Paula Wagner said. Wagner’s statement confirms her departure as chief executive of United Artists with partner Tom Cruise effective August 14. Wagner 61, stated her reason for leaving was to develop independent projects on her own. She will retain her ownership in United Artists and be involved with key UA productions.
Wagner and Cruise took over UA in 2006 after Cruise and Paramount Pictures severed their relationship. With no real backer for Tom Cruise movies, he and partner Wagner took over the controlling interests of UA with parent company Metro Goldwyn Mayer handling some of the distribution of Cruise’s films.
Since Wagner took her position as chief executive of UA in 2006, the company suffered a $30 million loss on its first production off â€˜Lions for Lambs.’ Her departure comes with the delay of the company’s second production under her helm â€˜Valkyrie.’ It should be noted that Hollywood has been in a de facto shut down with film productions due to the on going negotiations with the Screen Actor’s Guild and had a complete shut down of productions during last year’s writer’s strike. The writer’s strike hurt many blue collar workers in the film industry and Hollywood has yet to fully recover from that strike with the SAG negotiations lingering on. Wagner and Cruise began their official business partnership in 1993 with Cruise/Wagner Productions.
United Artists started 90 years ago with legendary Hollywood stars Charlie Chaplin and Mary Pickford. Chaplin and Pickford wanted to produce their own movies in order to have control over their own careers. The two were joined with co-partners Douglas Fairbanks and D.W Griffith and cowboy star William S. Hart. Hart, along Chaplin, discussed the original idea of starting a new company at a time when the industry was in its infancy.
Wagner began her career as an actress and then became one of the most respected and powerful talent agents in Creative Artists Agency and married CAA co-chairman Rick Nicita. CAA is a premier talent agency and considered one of the most powerful big five talent agencies in Hollywood along with International Creative Management, William Morris, Endeavor, and United Talent Agency.
NEWS SOURCE HOLLYWOOD TODAY