Oscar-winning producer Michael Sugar has raised $30 million to turn his boutique management and production company into the next big Hollywood talent shop.
Sugar, whose clients include Steven Soderbergh and Cary Joji Fukunaga, raised the money from investors Swan & Legend Venture Partners, which has also backed Jose Andres’s restaurant group, and MRC, the Hollywood studio that produced “Knives Out” and “Ozark.”
Sugar plans to use this new capital to move his company, Sugar23, into podcasting and book publishing. He also aims to expand its talent-representation business by hiring as many as 20 managers over the next 12 months. Sugar has already identified one new colleague: Meredith Wechter, who represents “Wonder Woman” star Gal Gadot and Jason Momoa of “Aquaman,” is reportedly set to join him.
Sugar is a Hollywood rarity — both a manager to top clients and a successful producer. He is now hoping to capitalize on a moment of upheaval in traditional talent representation. Agencies have all cut staff due to the coronavirus, emboldening several top representatives to strike out on their own and form new companies. Many agents are turning to management because managers are able to produce shows under California law, giving them a potentially larger share of their clients’ business.
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