October 31, 2013-Universal Pictures announced today that the studio has signed a three-year first-look production agreement with Producer Will Packer. He will develop new, scripted projects for the studio under his newly formed Will Packer Productions banner with offices in Atlanta and Los Angeles. Packer’s first film with Universal is the highly anticipated action-comedy Ride Along starring Ice Cube and Kevin Hart that the studio will release January 17, 2014. Packer produces the film alongside Cube, Matt Alvarez and Larry Brezner.
Chairman of Universal Pictures Donna Langley said of Packer: “Will is driven by a boundless energy that drives his relationships and permeates his films. We’ve cherished our experience working with him on Ride Along and cannot wait to collaborate with him on more films in the years to come.”
To date, Packer has produced four films which opened number one at the U.S. box office and his films have collectively grossed over $350 million worldwide. He has produced films including Screen Gems’ Stomp the Yard, Takers, Obsessed and Think Like A Man. In addition to Ride Along, Packer has three other films coming out in 2014 including Screen Gems’ About Last Night starring Michael Ealy, Joy Bryant, Regina Hall and Kevin Hart (February 14, 2014); Think Like A Man Too starring Kevin Hart, Taraji P. Henson, Michael Ealy, Gabrielle Union, Meagan Good, Terrence J, Regina Hall, Jerry Ferrara and Romany Malco (June 20, 2014); and No Good Deed starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson in the fall. He recently wrapped production on Screen Gems’ The Wedding Ringer, starring Josh Gad and Kevin Hart, slated for a February 6, 2015 release.
At 39, Packer is one of the youngest African American members of The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and one of the only non-writing African-American producers with an overall deal at a major studio. In July, Packer signed a two-year overall deal with Universal Television through 2015. Korin D. Huggins was named Head of Television at Will Packer Productions. She was most recently Director of Drama Development at Warner Bros. Television Studios. Executives have not yet been announced for the film division of the company.
Staci R. Collins Jackson, Publicist