Jaffe in Lion’s lair

Busy studio taps producer for exec VP slot

This article was corrected on Sept. 23, 2002.

HOLLYWOOD — As it undertakes one of its busiest production slates in years, MGM has hired on some extra help, tapping longtime producer Toby Jaffe as exec veep of production.

Jaffe will be responsible for finding and developing feature film properties and overseeing all facets of production from acquisition through release.

He joins MGM’s other production execs Elizabeth Ingold, Elizabeth Cantillon, Eric Paquette, Quentin Curtis and Stephanie Palmer. Jaffe reports directly to Michael Nathanson, prexy and chief operating officer of MGM Pictures.

“Toby is a decidedly seasoned filmmaker and significant addition to MGM’s highly accomplished production team,” Nathanson said. “He possesses an extraordinary balance of creative talent and business savvy, which will enable him to immediately help us manage the development of MGM’s rapidly growing roster of films as we endeavor to continue the momentum spawned by the hugely successful ‘Barbershop’ and the forthcoming James Bond picture ‘Die Another Day.’ ”

Jaffe spent the last four years working as an independent film producer, partnering with helmer Stephen Herek (“Mr. Holland’s Opus”) to produce “Life or Something Like It,” with Angelina Jolie, the Mark Wahlberg pic “Rock Star” and the Martin Lawrence comedy “Blue Streak.”

Before that, Jaffe served as prexy of production for the IndieProd Co., a co-venture between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Japan Satellite Broadcasting. While there, he supervised pics “The Quick and the Dead,” on which he also served as executive producer, “Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein” and “Universal Soldier.”

He is also a former agent, having started with the Leading Artists Agency before it merged with United Talent Agency. He later advanced to head up the tenpercentery’s motion picture lit department and repped writers, producers and directors, including Barry Sonnenfeld, Curtis Hanson, Rob Cohen, Boaz Yakin, Chuck Russell and Joss Whedon.

Besides “Barbershop” and the next installment of the Bond franchise, MGM is readying for release “A Few Good Years,” with Michael and Kirk Douglas; actioners “Bulletproof Monk” and “Agent Cody Banks”; the Denzel Washington thriller “Out of Time”; and laffers “A Guy Thing” and “Molly Gunn.” Studio is heading into production on the Reese Witherspoon sequel “Legally Blonde 2: Red, White & Blonde,” and it is looking to fast-track a feature adaptation of TV series “The Outer Limits.”

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