Earlier in the year when John Fogelman decided to leave William Morris Endeavor (WME) to venture on his own, it wasn’t very long before a few more agency players decided to follow him. Then came the announcement in June that J.J. Abrams was taking a sabbatical from WME and would be repped by former William Morris agent-turned-manager David Lonner and tongues really started to wag. Now today it has been announced that Fogelman has launched a new firm called FactoryMade Ventures and has named J.J. Abrams as its principal investor.
J.J. Abrams and his company Bad Robot have made a lot of money for WME with such sci-fi projects as ‘Star Trek’, ‘Cloverfield’, ‘Lost’, ‘Fringe’ and ‘Super 8’ and a move to FactoryMade Ventures is considered a big one. Of the move Abrams says, “I’ve been lucky enough to work with the same representatives since I began in this business. John Fogelman joined our team in 2006, and I was immediately struck by his ability to identify creative opportunities and his determination and skill to actually realize them. I felt strongly about continuing to work with John, and this was a chance to support his latest ambitious enterprise, just as he has supported me over the years.”
FactoryMade Ventures will also continue its longstanding relationship with Hasbro that started when founder Fogelman was still at the William Morris Agency. This relationship contributed to the production of such films as ‘Transformers’, ‘GI Joe’ and ‘Battleship’. CEO and President Brian Goldner is looking forward to being part of this firm stating, “Hasbro is continuing to create immersive entertainment globally for our incredible portfolio of brands. John Fogelman and his team have been a tremendous asset for us in the media and entertainment space and we look forward to many more opportunities with FactoryMade to build not only new experiences for our brands, but to work on creating new brands as well.”
FactoryMadeVentures will be a hybrid entertainment, media, business development, and consulting firm that plans to partner with talent and other companies to develop and deliver material across multiple platforms worldwide. Along with the mainstay of their business, some of their new ventures will include original programming, projects for digital and mobile devices, and new interactive viewing and gaming experiences.
Along with Abrams, Michael Bay (‘Transformers’ and ‘I am Number 4’), Robert Rodriguez (‘Sin City’, ‘Spy Kids’ franchise), Thom Beers (‘1000 Ways to Die’), and Whoopie Goldberg have already begun developing products with FactoryMade Ventures.