Jason Richman To Co-Head UTA Media Rights Group With Keya Khayatian

Mike Fleming Jr
·4 min read

Jason Richman has been named Co-Head of UTA’s Media Rights Group, and he will run the division with longtime motion picture lit partner Keya Khayatian, who has helped lead the group since 2017.

The Media Rights department represents a roster of authors, books, articles, podcasts, journalists, estates, life rights and thought leaders, and it has closed over 250 deals in the past 12 months, and nearly 200 since the beginning of the global pandemic, the agency said. That includes a Netflix deal for film adaptations of Tanya Smith’s memoir Ghost In The Machine, with Issa Rae and David Heyman producing, and Jesse Q. Sutanto’s novel Dial A for Aunties; Hulu’s series adaptations of Charles Yu’s National Book Award-winning novel Interior Chinatown and Zakiya Dalila Harris’ upcoming novel The Other Black Girl; Amazon’s series adaptation of National Book Award winner Kacen Callender’s novel Felix Ever After; SunnyMarch’s film adaptation of Charlotte McConaghy’s novel Migrations with Claire Foy attached to star, and the HBO Max limited series adaption of the podcast Nice White Parents with Issa Rae producing. The Media Rights department also orchestrated the sale of the rights to Jessica Bruder’s bestselling book Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century, which Bruder and writer/director Chloé Zhao turned into the Venice Golden Lion winner.

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Clients Richman reps include Celeste Ng, Stacey Abrams, Charles Yu, Salman Rushdie, Jesmyn Ward, Erik Larson, Elin Hilderbrand, Jia Tolentino, Samantha Irby, Tuca & Bernie creator Lisa Hanawalt, Lodge 49 creator Jim Gavin, Shrill co-creator Lindy West, The New Yorker journalist and 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Ben Taub, and more. He also represents The Boston Globe in addition to the estates of Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Walter Dean Myers, and Norman Mailer. Richman negotiated the sale of the rights to Celeste Ng’s debut novel Everything I Never Told You to Annapurna TV after a bidding battle and he orchestrated Hulu’s miniseries adaptation of her bestselling novel Little Fires Everywhere, which received five Emmy Award nominations. He brokered the deal for Yu to adapt his National Book Award-winning novel Interior Chinatown into a Hulu series.

Other closed series deals include Searchlight Television and Darren Aronofsky’s adaptation of David Herbert’s New York Magazine article Boss of the Beach; ABC Signature’s adaptation of Melissa Broder’s upcoming novel Milk Fed, with Liz Tigelaar producing; and Annapurna’s adaptation of Ian Parker’s New Yorker article A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions, to be written and directed by Janicza Bravo with Jake Gyllenhaal attached to star. He also brokered the deal for the Nico Walker novel Cherry that Joe and Anthony Russo directed with Tom Holland starring for Apple TV+ and set up the Warner Bros. film adaptation of Mary H.K. Choi’s bestselling novel Permanent Record with Choi scripting and Jon M. Chu attached to direct; and the Walter Dean Myers’ bio At Her Majesty’s Request which has Cynthia Erivo starring and producing with BBC Film, Benedict Cumberbatch’s SunnyMarch, and So & So Productions; and MGM’s adaptation of Jen McAdam’s book Fake!, with Scott Z. Burns writing/directing for Kate Winslet to star, and 3000 Pictures’ adaptation of the Kevin Wilson novel Nothing To See Here, which James Ponsoldt will direct.

“Over the course of his career at UTA, Jason has demonstrated an incredible ability to identify emerging and underrepresented storytellers, and amplify their voices within the film and television landscape,” stated UTA Co-President David Kramer. “Like his clients, Jason is a dynamic thought leader, and I know that together he and Keya will help further expand the Media Rights Group’s success in discovering new artists and bringing their compelling stories to life.”

Said Richman: “I am thrilled to co-lead the Media Rights division with Keya Khayatian. We share a dedication to ensuring the artists we represent at UTA have the broadest opportunities to develop and adapt their work for the screen, particularly in this moment when the world needs the comfort of great content more than ever. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of UTA, which does this work on behalf of artists better than anyone in the creative community, and look forward to helping lead this team forward in this new position.”

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