Theresa Kang-Lowe has found her next act.
After nearly two decades at WME, the agency partner has decided to leave to start her own management company, where she has already set up a multiyear overall deal with Apple TV+. Oscar winner Alfonso Cuaron, whom she signed as an agency client just a year ago, will be moving with her in a new capacity (he’ll also remain at WME and continue to collaborate with longtime partner Anonymous Content, where he has a non-exclusive deal).
In her new role, Kang-Lowe intends to keep her focus on discovering and amplifying underrepresented voices, noting that “the power of storytelling is transformative” and that, particularly in this moment in time, she wants “to be closer to the creative process.” The company title, Blue Marble Pictures, was inspired by the iconic photo of the same name, taken by the crew of the Apollo 17 in the early 1970s — another transitional period in our country’s history. “To me, the photo represents hope and beauty,” explains Kang-Lowe. “It represents the journey to understand ourselves by exploring who we are as humans and the adventures and new frontiers ahead of us. I hope to produce stories that strike some of those same chords.”
Kang-Lowe, who recently welcomed her second child, has been a major force at the talent agency, and her departure will be felt across its many divisions. Her client roster reads like a who’s who of Hollywood, with producers, writers, directors and talent including Riz Ahmed, Simon Beaufoy, Damien Chazelle, Deborah Chow, Ryan Coogler, Guillermo del Toro, Gillian Flynn, Gal Gadot, Lisa Joy and Jonah Nolan, Lena Waithe, and Steven Zaillian. In recent years, Kang-Lowe — who has graced THR’s Next Generation list, Empowerment list and Most Powerful Women in Hollywood list — has negotiated roughly half a billion dollars in compensation on behalf of those clients. As is clear from her list, she’s been particularly focused on representing those who can speak to the social and political conversations taking place in our country and our world through their art.
To that end, Kang-Lowe, one of the first Asian American agents to be promoted to partner at WME, has used her own voice and platform to push for change as well. Internally, she co-founded Empower, a companywide program promoting diversity, inclusion and mentorship. Elsewhere in Hollywood, she was appointed to Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Entrepreneurs in Residence for the Evolve Entertainment Fund, which has focused on increasing diversity initiatives in the entertainment industry. Last year, she was also a key industry voice in supporting adding diversity provisions to the $330 million California production tax credit program. Kang-Lowe has also been integral to gathering and galvanizing industry members in more informal settings. She is also on the advisory board of Korean American Leaders in Hollywood.
Her decision to move on comes at challenging time for the agency business at large and her company in particular. In early May, WME announced it would be laying off or furloughing 20 percent of its workforce in the face of the pandemic.