Thursday, April 22, 2021

EUR Exclusive: Movie Mogul Will Packer Talks ‘Breaking In’

Gabrielle Union and Will Packer at a “Breaking In” Atlanta Screening .(Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for Universal Studios)

*Producer WILL PACKER is one of Hollywood’s blockbuster hit makers, with nine of his films opening at No. 1. Collectively, his films have grossed over $1 billion. Those films include “Girls Trip,” “Ride Along,”  “Straight “Outta Compton,” “No Good Deed,” “Think Like a Man,” “Takers,” “Obsessed,” and “Stomp the Yard.”

His television, digital and branded content company, Will Packer Media, in partnership with Discovery Communications and Universal Pictures, produces episodic scripted and unscripted series across television and digital platforms. In 2016, Packer was nominated for a Primetime Emmy Award as the executive producer of “Roots,” a remake of one of the most celebrated TV programs of all time for A&E Networks.

Next up for Packer is the thriller “Breaking In,” opening May 11, with  Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, and Ajiona Alexus. In an exclustive interview, I asked him about his Midas touch.

Will, you’ve been on a roll and probably no need to ask how you’re doing?

I’m doing fine. How’s Lee Bailey?  

Lee is fine. Can you explain the magic behind your Midas touch?

 You guys keep supporting me and I’ll keep producing magic [Laughs]. Audiences have been super supportive and are willing to come out and support the type of content I’m creating. I’m hopeful with “Breaking In,” which I’m so excited about, where Gab is kicking major ass that we can get the moms to come out. I’m telling people to take their moms, somebody else’s mom, to come out because it’s a fun movie…and a different concept.

With a degree in Electrical Engineering, how did you end up making movies?

It seems like a long way away from, Electrical Engineering but it’s not. What’s really interesting is that engineering forces you to think with an analytical mind. And I use that analytical skill set on each movie because I have to solve problems and challenges in an analytical way. Even though [making movies] is a creative medium and I’m a very hands-on creative producer, I definitely still use that analytical mindset. So I think having my engineering degree definitely gives me a leg up.


Gabrielle Union about to do damage in “Breaking In.”

Can’t let you go Will without asking about the impact of “Black Panther”?

[Packer takes a deep breath before speaking] Oh my God, it’s huge! I mean the whole industry, black and white benefits. When you have a movies that are successful, especially for filmmakers of color, especially for movies that star and black and Brown folks, especially for somebody that’s got an idea to make a movie about a black superhero with an all black cast or a movie set in Africa, the benefits are all around. It’s great because it is a tide that lifts all boats.

As a filmmaker, how will this affect you in the future?

Every movie that is successful, that has a a filmmaker of color behind the scenes, or actors of color in front of the camera will be a benefit to another movie with the same type of DNA. Because that movie had Ryan Coogler directing it and had an amazing all black cast primarily, that will be very helpful to me. That kind of success shows audiences around the globe are willing to consume that kind of content. At the end of the day, that’s all Hollywood cares about.       Twitter: @thefilmstrip

Marie Moore
Veteran syndicated journalist who covers film and television.




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