Former Fox Searchlight exec to help build slate

Former Fox Searchlight exec Lawrence Grey is joining Mandate Pictures in a senior creative post.

Grey, who will start in his new position Feb. 8, will play a key role in building Mandate’s slate. Grey, who was most recently senior VP of production at Universal Pictures from 2007-09, previously collaborated with Mandate as the lead executive on “Drag Me to Hell” while at U.

Also during his tenure at Universal, Grey brought in and oversaw the production of the upcoming comedy “Your Highness,” which stars Danny McBride and James Franco.

From 2000-05, Grey was an executive at Searchlight, where he worked with a number of auteur filmmakers and earned a reputation for spotting and nurturing emerging directors and actors including Timur Bekmambetov and Jason Reitman.

Mandate president Nathan Kahane praised Grey for having “seasoned creative skills and experience, (which) will expand our exciting business.”

Grey, a Montreal native, began his career in the film business as an intern at Scott Rudin Prods. before segueing to Zucker-Netter Prods. to run development.

Earlier this month, Mandate lost exec Tendo Nagenda, who moved to Walt Disney, though Mandate says Grey is not filling that vacancy.

The company’s 2010 slate includes Jennifer Aniston-Jason Bateman starrer “The Baster” and an untitled project starring James McAvoy and Seth Rogen and formerly titled “I’m With Cancer.”

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