Mirage taps Rubin

Casting director added to exec ranks

Sydney Pollack’s Mirage Enterprises — which signed an overall production deal with Sony Pictures Entertainment in March — has beefed up its exec ranks by hiring former casting director David Rubin.

Rubin becomes the fourth member of a development and producing team that comprises Pollack (who also directs), William Horberg and Geoff Stier.

Rubin has close ties with Pollack, having cast his 1993 Tom Cruise hit “The Firm,” his 1995 Harrison Ford romance “Sabrina” and the upcoming “The Talented Mr. Ripley,” which Anthony Minghella is directing and which Mirage is producing for Paramount and Miramax.

According to Pollack, Rubin will be a full-fledged senior exec at Mirage, although Pollack admitted that Rubin’s specialized casting knowledge would come in handy.

“David’s work as a casting director has given him a unique insight into developing the various components of a screenplay,” Pollack said. “I wanted to (hire someone) from a fresh area, rather than a previously experienced production exec. I don’t think that anyone has done this before.”

Rubin’s producing experience includes co-producing John Duigan’s offbeat drama “Lawn Dogs,” which Duncan Kenworthy (“Four Weddings and a Funeral”) produced. Strand Releasing distributed the pic in the U.S.

Other upcoming pics cast by Rubin include F. Gary Gray’s “The Negotiator” for Warner Bros. and Scott Hicks’ “Snow Falling on Cedars” for Universal.

Mirage relocates to SPE from Paramount June 15. The first project to occupy Rubin will be Pollack’s drama “Random Hearts,” starring Ford and Kristin Scott-Thomas, which begins lensing for Columbia in late August. Pollack is producing the pic together with Rastar Prods.’ Marykay Powell.

Rubin had already contracted to be the casting director on “Random” prior to joining Mirage.

Currently shooting in Italy for Mirage and Intermedia Films is Philip Haas’ “Up at the Villa,” starring Sean Penn and Scott-Thomas.