Is Mike Back?

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Hollywood is abuzz with rumors that former superagent and Disney president Michael Ovitz plans to start a talent-management business. He would presumably bring along former clients, including Sydney Pollack, Warren Beatty, Dustin Hoffman and Kevin Costner. The fact that most on that list are over 50 has apparently not been lost on Ovitz, who is said to be courting Brad Grey (who declined) and hot young Hollywood manager Rick Yorn, of Industry Entertainment. Yorn represents Leonardo DiCaprio, for one. Other clients include Cameron Diaz and Claire Danes.

A former Ovitz associate expressed surprise that Ovitz would get into talent hand-holding again given that he was so sick of it when he left Creative Artists Agency in 1995. But managers, unlike agents, can act as producers, so the new Ovitz enterprise could have a broader scope than CAA. Those who doubt Ovitz has the patience to deal with finicky stars should note that he recently stepped in to help Barry Levinson cut a deal with Warner. And Ovitz’s old friends at CAA are painfully aware that he has taken ample office space on Wilshire Boulevard in Beverly Hills, not far from the I.M. Pei–designed fortress that Ovitz constructed when he was master of the CAA universe.