Disney close to naming production head

Producer Sean Bailey said to be the front-runner

With Disney chairman Rich Ross on the verge of naming a new head of  production, possibly as early as Thursday, studio insiders were betting Wednesday night that producer Sean Bailey would get the nod.

Oren Aviv was forced to resign as president of production Tuesday as Ross continues to put his own team into place. The studio did not immediately name his successor, and Bailey's name was not among those in the first wave of speculation about possible replacements.

But by Wednesday night, Bailey was being mentioned by several sources as Aviv's likely successor.

Bailey is a Disney-based producer who is currently producing the remake "Tron: Legacy," which the studio has slated for release Dec. 17.

He is also developing a "Black Hole" remake at the studio, and he was behind "Captain Nemo: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea," which Ross shelved for budgetary reasons in one of his first acts as chairman.

Bailey was a producer on "Gone, Baby,Gone" and a principal of shingle LivePlanet with Ben Affleck and Matt Damon.

Disney spokespersons could not be reached for comment.