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A version of this story first appeared in the May 22 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.
Get ready to go inside the Death Star. No, this isn’t a leak from Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Instead, it’s Jim Miller‘s upcoming insiders’ account of CAA, the talent agency whose Gensler-designed Century City headquarters is nicknamed after the famous Star Wars spacecraft.
The author behind blockbuster oral histories of Saturday Night Live and ESPN has been seen lunching with Michael Ovitz and other Hollywood figures. Some on the extensive roster of well-known industry people who have participated in the conversations — which have gone on for more than six months — confirm that Miller has been quietly writing a history of the notoriously secretive agency, which was formed in 1975 by Ovitz, Ron Meyer and three other William Morris agents and continues to be a top force in Hollywood with a client list that now includes Jennifer Lawrence, Tom Cruise and soccer’s Cristiano Ronaldo.
CAA was considered the most powerful agency in Hollywood the ‘80s and early ‘90s. Ovitz and Meyer — who would later become presidents of the Walt Disney Company and Universal, respectively — both left the agency in 1995. In March, CAA was rocked when eight comedy agents left for UTA and several high-profile clients, including Chris Pratt, Zach Galifianakis and Will Ferrell, followed.
Live From New York: The Complete, Uncensored History of Saturday Night Live as Told by Its Stars, Writers, and Guests (2002, updated and revised 2014) and Those Guys Have All the Fun: Inside the World of ESPN (2011) were instant critical and commercial hits whose oral-history style had the participants dishing about the serious (sexism at ESPN, how to cover Sarah Palin at SNL) and the superficial (Chevy Chase was universally hated) in their own words. (Read an excerpt from Live From New York here.)
Miller and his agent declined to comment.
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