HOLLYWOOD — Less than one year after being promoted to senior veep of production of the Buena Vista Motion Picture Group, Mark Vahradian is in final negotiations to become executive veep of production.
Elevating Vahradian places the exec in one of Disney’s top production spots, just under Buena Vista Motion Picture Group prexy Nina Jacobson. It also signals that the studio is thinking ahead to late October when Jacobson is due to take maternity leave until January.
“Mark has shown incredible leadership qualities, and I trust him completely to help me keep everything running smoothly, especially during my maternity leave,” said Jacobson, who will continue to make some of the studio’s day-to-day decisions during her absence.
“This is the first time I haven’t had to beg, cry or scream for a promotion,” said Vahradian, whose added responsibility during Jacobson’s leave will be serving as Walt Disney Studios chairman Peter Schneider’s link to the movie division. “I am very appreciative to Nina and Peter.”
Vahradian has been one of the most active Disney execs, overseeing such projects as Jerry Bruckheimer’s “Remember the Titans,” due in theaters Sept. 27. He was also instrumental in optioning the book “Big Trouble” and shepherding the project into production. The Barry Sonnenfeld film, which recently began lensing, stars Rene Russo and Tim Allen. Tom Jacobson and Barry Josephson are producing.
Vahradian is overseeing, among other projects, Spyglass Entertainment’s “Hard R,” to be helmed by the Malloy brothers and headed for production in October, and the high-concept comedy “Bubble Boy,” currently casting.
Vahradian came to Disney in 1994 as a creative executive. He was promoted to director of creative affairs and then veep of production prior to receiving his senior veep stripes last October.