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Next Gen 2010: Hollywood's Young Guns

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    Mark Wetzstein
    Bill Phelps
    Mark Wetzstein, 35
    Partner, Nelson Davis Wetzstein

    In 2008, as high-powered attorneys Peter Nelson and George Davis left the practice they shared with Patti Felker (taking marquee clients Peter Jackson and David Duchovny with them), they grabbed Wetzstein, then a young associate, and made him a partner in their new venture. Wetzstein has more than lived up to such lofty expectations, closing deals for Ian McShane to play Black Beard in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and law school classmate Jonathan E. Steinberg (creator of Jericho) to make Fox's Human Target and playing a key role in facilitating the production and sale of Jackson's District 9. Growing up in Westchester County, N.Y., Wetzstein was hardly on track for Hollywood. The son of a Wall Street banker, he did his undergrad studies at the University of Virginia then worked as a paralegal in Manhattan. After earning his J.D., the East Coaster found himself at L.A. legal behemoth O'Melveny & Myers. Sitting amid the glass and polished concrete of NDW's ultra-modern Santa Monica offices, the married father of two feels at home. "It's a rarity in life to do something that you love," he says.

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