Bloch-Laine hired to boost production

PARIS — EuropaCorp co-founders Luc Besson and Pierre-Ange Le Pogam have tapped former StudioCanal production topper Nathalie Bloch-Laine to join the production team and boost the number of films the company puts out each year.

Her appointment fits the Gallic powerhouse’s mandate to strengthen production and diversify its slate with more animation, comedies and accessible international arthouse dramas.

Currently, it produces 10-15 films a year and is mostly famed for actioners, including Liam Neeson starrer “Taken,” which grossed $145 million in the U.S.

Last year, EuropaCorp hiked production investment by 53% to $202 million. In June, Le Pogam said EuropaCorp was planning to increase the number of films with international potential from 45% to 75% of its lineup.

Bloch-Laine spent 25 years at Canal Plus Group. For the past four years she has been in charge of greenlighting and developing productions plus negotiating with producers at StudioCanal. She worked on some of last year’s top-grossing films, including Remi Besancon’s ensemble comedy “The First Day of the Rest of Your Life” and Fabien Onteniente’s laffer “Disco.”

EuropaCorp recently started work on “Taken 2″ and has just tapped Michael Caleo (“The Sopranos”) to write crime drama “Volcano.”

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