WME Moves Into the Celebrity Estate Business With Legends Group: Andy Kaufman, Eartha Kitt, Peter Tosh, CBGB First Up
The William Morris Endeavor agency has launched a new division for representing and servicing celebrity and brand estates.
Run by Phil Sandhaus, a veteran estate manager and consultant to late icons like Frank Sinatra, Buddy Holly and Whitney Houston, the new WME shingle will bring trailblazing artists and iconic brands into the modern business landscape.
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At launch, WME Legends has signed the estates of: performance artist and comedian Andy Kaufman (“Saturday Night Live,” “Taxi”); acclaimed singer, actress (and early television Catwoman), dancer, comedian and civil rights activist Eartha Kitt; The Wailers co-founder Peter Tosh, who went on to become a staunch anti-apartheid, criminal justice and Pan-African activist; the influential New York landmark CBGB; and Ram Dass’ Love Serve Remember Foundation, which manages Dass’ intellectual property and his seminal book on Eastern philosophy and spirituality, “Be Here Now.”
The agency is already in advanced discussions about merchandising, live events, podcast slates, stage musicals, fashion collaborations, and scripted and unscripted content based on the legacies of those clients. The representation of the Tosh estate is in association with Brian Latture and the MegaSource Entertainment Group.
This announcement builds upon WME’s existing roster of marquee estates across theater, books, music and more, including Agatha Christie, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Donna Summer, August Wilson, Isaac Asimov, Edward Albee, Abe Burrows and Terrence McNally.
Sandhaus brings more than 35 years of experience as an artist manager, record label executive and estate manager for artists such as David Bowie, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, the Beatles and the Rolling Stones.
Here’s a closer look at development plans for the inaugural clients:
WME Legends will be managing the publication of unreleased novels, TV specials and performances, music, manuscripts, and sound recordings by Kaufman, and exercising opportunities for licensing and merchandising, a series biopic, documentary, podcast and an official biography.
The WME Legends team is already developing multiple projects for the estate such as a biopic and stage musical, documentary, podcast, fashion collaborations, endorsement and sponsorship opportunities, the re-publication of her autobiographies and synchronization opportunities of her music masters.
Plans for CBGB-branded clubs, restaurants, hotels, cruises and tour experiences, music and film festivals, fashion and licensing collaborations for CBGB’s iconic logo; additionally, film, television and stage concepts centered around the iconic club scene of mid-80’s New York City, endorsements, sponsorships, product partnerships VR/AR/Video Gaming and book concepts.
WME Legends and MegaSource Entertainment Group are working on multiple projects such as a limited series biopic, feature film, stage musical, the “Peter Tosh EarthStrong Celebration,” a music and lifestyle Festival, VR/AR opportunities, an official biography, fashion collaborations, endorsements and sponsorships, the launch of a “Cannabis and Wellness” lifestyle brand for product partnerships, a digital magazine, and an eco-friendly resort and synchronization opportunities of his music masters.
Opportunities in film and TV, documentaries, licensing, merchandise, live touring exhibits using memorabilia, re-publication of his books/works, digital, including a smartphone app and the Be Here Now podcast network, VR/AR experiences, and a music concert series, while growing the Foundation’s legacy with a new generation
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