After 25 years as a talent agent, CAA vet Jeremy Plager is leaving to launch his own production and management company. He’s firming his list of clients and will start with Woody Harrelson, producer/financier Paul Brooks, actress Clara Rugaard, and writer/director/producer Oren Moverman.
Plager will become producer — along with Star Thrower Entertainment, Luke Davies and Harrelson — of the limited series The Most Dangerous Man In America, about the nerdy Harvard prof Timothy Leary who after being arrested for smoking a joint, escaped and found himself on the run and harbored by the Black Panthers, the Weather Underground and others as he became a counterculture icon; and a remake of the inspiring Spanish film Champions that Peter Cattaneo is directing and Gerard Butler is starring in for Focus Features. Brooks is also a producer on that one.
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During his years at CAA, Plager has repped such talent as Jennifer Lawrence, Woody Harrelson, Gerard Butler, Mila Kunis, Emilia Clarke, Jesse Eisenberg, Hugh Grant, Jane Fonda, Kevin Costner, Sally Field, and Donald Sutherland. He signed both Lawrence and Butler when they were relative unknowns. He will add clients and finalize a name for his company, soon.
While his move was among numerous agent jumps at a most disruptive moment, I’m told that Plager has been contemplating this change for a long time. A voracious watcher of movies since childhood, he wanted to be involved in turning inspirational stories into films. He leaves CAA on good terms, not a bad ally to have in getting a slate of films going. Also helpful is having a close affiliation with Brooks, whose Gold Circle has launched the My Big Fat Greek Wedding and Pitch Perfect franchises. Moverman, a close friend of Plager’s who has been pushing him to move into the management/producer space for a long time and said he would be first client, is also valuable to a start up because he is the catalyst for many projects.
“Jeremy has done incredible work in service of the artists he represents,” said Bryan Lourd, Co-Chairman of CAAgency. “Jeremy’s passion, integrity, and creativity will serve him well in his new role, and we are fortunate to continue working with him.”
Plager arrived at CAA and worked on the desk of Michael Wimer, who during that first week sent out a spec script package with a director, producer and release date, called Independence Day. It was one of the biggest spec package deals of its time and when Plager asked Wimer if this was common, he was told it likely would never happen again (it hasn’t). Eventually, Plager became a floater and spelled for a day an assistant for Bryan Lourd, who misheard Plager’s name and called him Chip the whole time. Plager thanked him and said his name was Jeremy. Lourd asked why he hadn’t said something and Plager said he thought it was a nickname the top agent gave him. Lourd remembered Plager, and when his assistant was out, he got Plager to sub and when that assistant got engaged and never returned, Plager had a permanent place with Lourd for two years before Plager got his agent stripes in 1998.
Said Plager in a statement: “I am so thrilled to be able to maximize my time with the incredible talent I am privileged to work with and also give myself the opportunity to explore the journey of a project from start to finish. As I look back on my amazing time at CAA, I am so proud of my long time friendships and collaborations with my colleagues and with my clients, some of whom like, Woody, Gerry, Mila and Judy Greer I’ve represented for 18 plus years. My goal will be working with all of them and my other fantastic clients for 18 more.”
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