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De Niro bolts from CAA

In the latest development in an already eventful agency week, Robert De Niro has left Creative Artists Agency for Endeavor.

De Niro hit his payday stride in the comedy arena, where his salary approached $18 million for laffers like “Meet the Fockers.”

Sources said that De Niro and partner Jane Rosenthal will move their Tribeca Productions shingle over to Endeavor as well. His exit with CAA was amicable, with sources explaining that a long relationship had simply run its course.

De Niro’s surprising move caps one of the more eventful week in the history of Endeavor, which just hired exiting UTA agents Nick Stevens, Lisa Hallerman and Sharon Sheinwold, and brought Ben Stiller into the fold. Other clients, Jack Black included, may move from UTA to Endeavor as well.

Signing De Niro gives Endeavor a gain at CAA’s expense, coming right after longtime Endeavor client Ashton Kutcher left for CAA earlier this week. Both actors have successful production companies.

The two-time Oscar winning De Niro is a bonafide icon, but he hasn’t had a big hit since 2004’s “Meet the Fockers.” De Niro followed by directing and starring in “The Good Shepherd” and most recently toplining “Stardust.” Neither performed strongly at the box office.

Upcoming are the Barry Levinson-directed comedy “What Just Happened?” and the Millennium Films-financed Jon Avnet-directed “Righteous Kill,” which re-teams De Niro with “Heat” co-star Al Pacino. Overture releases the drama this fall.

Some agency watchers have attributed De Niro’s move and other recent client shifts to apprehension and restlessness attributable to a lack of new production starts because of a pending actor’s strike this summer.

They predict there could be more talent shuffling the deck as they look to jumpstart careers by moving to agents who will be eager to please.

De Niro, long courted by other agencies, met with other agencies recently before making the move.

Source: Variety