In the months leading up to Dan Aloni's dismissal from CAA Wednesday, the agent had numerous telephone conversations with Ari Emanuel, chief of rival agency WME, and expressed frustration with CAA, TheWrap has learned.
Emanuel (left) called Aloni at home on numerous occasions, according to an individual with knowledge of the calls.
In the conversations, which were underway last October, Emanuel told Aloni there was space at WME for him and for people on his team.
The individual told TheWrap that Emanuel said to Aloni, "You keep telling me that you're unhappy. Why don't you come over here? Why stay someplace where you are miserable?"
Emanuel even offered space for "some younger guys who help you out over there," and told him, "You can bring them over if you want."
It is common industry practice for agency heads to woo star agents from other shops.
A spokesman for Wiilliam Morris Endeavor did not respond to requests for comment.
Meanwhile Thursday, Aloni's former assistants, who are staying at Creative Artists Agency, cleared out their old boss's office.
Aloni (right) lost his CAA job Wednesday morning after CAA partner Richard Lovett became fed up with CAA colleagues, according to agency insiders.
People familiar with the events said Aloni was at the agency's regular motion picture staff meeting Wednesday morning when an assistant to Lovett handed Aloni a note summoning him to Lovett's office.
Lovett fired Aloni and then headed to the meeting — still in progress — and informed the group what he had done. The meeting then turned into a strategy session in which agents tried to figure out how to keep Aloni's valuable clients at the agency.
Those clients include Christopher Nolan ("Dark Knight"), Michel Gondry ("Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind"), David Yates ("Harry Potter") — who apparently is staying at CAA, where he also is represented by Beth Swofford — and others. Swofford also represents James Cameron and Guy Ritchie.
CAA already has lost writer-director Nolan, however.
Hours after CAA fired Aloni, Nolan informed the agency that he was leaving.
Nolan has proven his loyalty to Aloni before. When Aloni defected from UTA to join CAA in 2005, Nolan went with him.