Image: Craig A. Emanuel

Craig A. Emanuel

Partner, Entertainment and Media


Craig Emanuel is based in the Century City office and is a seasoned entertainment lawyer and widely recognized in the industry as an innovative dealmaker and efficient problem-solver. Having been involved in the production, development, and distribution of hundreds of motion picture and television projects, Mr. Emanuel has built his career by bringing together the right artists and business partners to translate creative vision into on-screen reality.

Mr. Emanuel works with high-level writers, directors, actors, producers, and production companies to navigate studio and independent film, television, and digital opportunities in an evolving entertainment landscape. In addition to negotiating top-tier talent agreements, he handles domestic and international transactions across all platforms, helping to create strategic alliances for clients by advising them on complex digital media content licensing arrangements, as well as on film and television investments. His diverse experience also includes the creation and launch of a new television network and work with advertisers and media clients on branded entertainment projects.

Clients value Mr. Emanuel’s hands-on approach, calm and composed nature, and dedication to finding a solution to any conflict. His dealmaking has been recognized by The Hollywood Reporter’s “Power Lawyers Top 100” list, Variety’s “Dealmakers Impact Report,” Chambers USA, and other industry trade publications and legal directories. Mr. Emanuel’s approach and dedication extend beyond his legal career to his role on the advisory board of Chrysalis, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing the resources and support needed for homeless and low-income individuals to find and retain employment.


  • Named “Top Entertainment Attorney” in Variety’s “Legal Impact Report” (2013–2020)
  • Named in The Legal 500 US in Media & Entertainment, (2017 edition)
  • Named among “Top Entertainment Lawyers” in California by the Daily Journal (2014–2015)
  • Highest “AV Preeminent (5 out of 5)” Professional Rating, Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory
  • Named an “IP Star” by Managing Intellectual Property magazine (2013–2015)
  • Named as a ScreenSingapore Ambassador (2011)
  • Named “Top Lawyer” in The Hollywood Reporter, ESQ.’s “Power Lawyers Top 100” list (2011–2013 and 2015–2020)
  • Named “Top Dealmaker” in Variety’s “Dealmakers Impact Report” (2008, 2013–2014, and 2017–2018)
  • Hollywood Reporter – Power Lawyer – 2023
  • Variety – 2023 Power of Law Award
  • Named “Best Lawyer” in Entertainment Law, The Best Lawyers in America (2006–2018)
  • Named in Chambers USA,” America’s Leading Lawyers for Business,” in California Media & Entertainment (2007–2022 editions)
  • Named “Southern California Super Lawyer” in Entertainment & Sports by Thomson Reuters (2007–2018)
  • Named “New Star” by Lawdragon 500 (2006)


  • Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), LL.B., 1981
  • Monash University (Melbourne, Australia), Bachelor of Jurisprudence, 1979


Mr. Emanuel has worked on some of the most notable representations in the entertainment and media industry, including:

  • Representing Spy Kids series creator Robert Rodriguez in connection with relaunching the successful Spy Kids franchise of family films alongside Skydance Media and Spyglass Media Group. Rodriguez will return to write and direct the next film which will revolve around the activities of a multicultural family.
  • Represented writer and producer Michael Seitzman in negotiating a first-look deal for television with Blumhouse and on an agreement for the launch of two television series about The Detroit Youth Choir who gained national attention when it finished second on the 14th season of NBC's America's Got Talent. Both series are being produced in part by Blumhouse Television.
  • Representing Ryan Murphy and his production company in multiple deals involving TV series and films, including The Politician and Ratched on Netflix; American Crime Story, American Horror Story, and Pose on FX; and the movie adaptation of The Boys in the Band.
  • Representing Tony Gilroy who is writing and executive producing the Lucas Films spin-off television series Rogue One. The Star Wars prequel series stars Diego Luna as Cassian Andor, the role he originally played in the film Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, and will air on Disney+.
  • Represented Clive Davis as producer of the new Whitney Houston biopic, currently titled I Wanna Dance with Somebody.
  • Represented The Lumistella Company in its sale of rights to the bestselling children’s book The Elf On The Shelf to Netflix, a hotly contested auction sale resulting in a seven-figure deal.
  • Represented Sight Unseen in the sale of distribution rights to their movies Bad Hair and Bad Education, the latter of which recently won a number of awards at the Emmys, including Outstanding Television Movie.
  • Represented Academy Award-winning writer and producer Charles Randolph, and Margaret Riley as a producer, in connection with the movie Bombshell.
  • Represented Marisa Tomei in her recent starring role in The King of Staten Island, a new comedy written and directed by Judd Apatow and co-starring Pete Davidson, released in June 2020.
  • Represented Anthony Bregman and Likely Story in a competitive negotiation amongst multiple studios of a producing deal with Lin-Manuel Miranda and Warner Brothers on the theatrical movie adaptation of the critically-acclaimed Broadway musical In the Heights.
  • Represented Animal Logic in connection with their role as producers in the sequel to the movie Peter Rabbit which is being financed and distributed by Sony Pictures.
  • Represented Luke Davies in connection with the highly acclaimed TV series Catch 22, starring George Clooney, where Luke was both the writer and one of the Executive Producers and in connection with a new television series entitled The Most Dangerous Man in America starring Woody Harrelson and based on the book of the same name about Timothy Leary.




    • Advisory Board Member, Chrysalis
    • Board Member, Creative Community for Peace
    • Black-Jewish Entertainment Alliance
    • March on Washington Film Festival
    • The Faith and Politics Institute

    Practice Areas

    Entertainment and Media

    Entertainment and Media -- Talent

    Entertainment and Media -- Finance and Restructuring

    ESG & Impact




    California Bar


    Monash University, LL.B. 1981

    Monash University, B.Juris 1979

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