Jason Richman (Courtesy of UTA)
UTA announced today that Jason Richman will co-lead its Media Rights Group, which represents an expansive roster of authors, books, articles, podcasts, journalists, estates and life rights. Richman will co-run the division alongside long-time motion picture literary partner Keya Khayatian, who has helped lead the group since 2017.
“I am thrilled to co-lead the Media Rights division with Keya Khayatian,” Richman said in a statement. “We share a dedication to ensuring the artists we represent at UTA have the broadest opportunities to develop and adapt their work for the screen, particularly in this moment when the world needs the comfort of great content more than ever. I’m incredibly proud to be a part of UTA, which does this work on behalf of artists better than anyone in the creative community, and look forward to helping lead this team forward in this new position.”
Richman has worked at UTA since 2010, with a client roster that includes Celeste Ng, Stacey Abrams, Charles Yu, Salman Rushdie, Jesmyn Ward, Erik Larson, Elin Hilderbrand, Jia Tolentino, Samantha Irby, “Tuca & Bernie” creator Lisa Hanawalt, “Lodge 49” creator Jim Gavin, “Shrill” co-creator Lindy West, The New Yorker journalist and 2020 Pulitzer Prize winner Ben Taub, and more. He also represents The Boston Globe in addition to the estates of Ray Bradbury, Charles Beaumont, Walter Dean Myers, and Norman Mailer.
“Over the course of his career at UTA, Jason has demonstrated an incredible ability to identify emerging and underrepresented storytellers, and amplify their voices within the film and television landscape,” UTA Co-President David Kramer said in a statement. “Like his clients, Jason is a dynamic thought leader, and I know that together he and Keya will help further expand the Media Rights Group’s success in discovering new artists and bringing their compelling stories to life.”
Richman most recently negotiated the sale of Ng’s debut novel “Everything I Never Told You” to Annapurna TV, after orchestrating the sale of Ng’s “Little Fires Everywhere” to Hulu, which went on to earn five Emmy nominations after its March 2020 debut.
On the film side, Richaman was also the dealmaker behind the sale of Nico Walker’s novel “Cherry,” which has been adapted into a feature film for Apple TV plus, starring Tom Holland and directed by the Russo brothers.
Overall, UTA’s Media Rights department has closed over 250 deals in the past year, with nearly 200 of those coming since the beginning of the pandemic shutdowns. Notable deals include Netflix’s film adaptation of Jesse Q. Sutanto’s novel “Dial A for Aunties”; Hulu’s series adaptations of Charles Yu’s “Interior Chinatown” and Zakiya Dalila Harris’ upcoming novel “The Other Black Girl”; Amazon’s series adaptation of Kacen Callender’s “Felix Ever After”; SunnyMarch’s film adaptation of Charlotte McConaghy’s “Migrations” (with Claire Foy attached to star); and two Issa Rae-produced projects (Netflix’s film adaptation of “Ghost In the Machine,” with Rae and David Heyman producing, and HBO Max’s “Nice White Parents” limited series).
The media rights department is also responsible for the sale of Jessica Bruder’s “Nomadland: Surviving America in the Twenty-First Century,” which has been adapted into awards season frontrunner “Nomadland,” from writer/director Chloé Zhao and produced by and starring Frances McDormand.
Variety's Angelique Jackson contributed to this post.