Dustin Hoffman is departing International Creative Management, the latest in a string of high-profile thespians to discharge the agency.
Also, actress Leelee Sobieski, who is starring in Sony's upcoming "The Glass House," will leave ICM for Creative Artists Agency.
An internal e-mail distributed company-wide late last Thursday said Hoffman would be leaving ICM, but it did not specify to which shop he might be headed.
In recent months, ICM clients Russell Crowe, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eddie Murphy and Meg Ryan have all decamped the shop.
Hoffman has not been acting much of late: He had only a small role in the flopped Sony release "The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc" in 1999, and his only picture in 1998 was the widely panned "Sphere."
According to insiders, Hoffman's parting of the ways with ICM stemmed from that rather light work schedule of late and was exacerbated by Hoffman's desire to begin a directing career that has so far not materialized.
Hoffman has spent more time recently as a producer, via his Punch Prods. shingle. He produced the 1999 pictures "A Walk on the Moon" and "The Furies." Last October, Hoffman and Brillstein-Gray chairman Brad Gray put up their own money to make a low-seven-figure buy of the screen rights to Scott Turow's legal novel "Personal Injuries. "
Hoffman's producing partner Jay Cohen did not return a call seeking comment, and a spokeswoman for Punch Prods. said Hoffman was traveling and therefore could not comment on either his departure from ICM or the reasons surrounding it.
Hoffman inked with Michael Ovitz' Artists Management Group for management representation in May 1999 and continues to be managed by AMG.
The departure of Sobieski, who first gained prominence starring as Joan of Arc in a CBS TV movie, had been expected ever since her ICM agent Steve Chasman, quit the firm in February to become her manager at Immortal Entertainment--Variety
© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)