Will Packer Productions, coming off the opening-weekend box office success of the producer’s Universal Pictures action comedy Ride Along, has hired UTA motion picture literary agent Barbara Dreyfus as head of motion pictures. She is one of the first key hires for Packer’s new shingle, which launched in October when he inked a three-year, first-look producing deal with the studio and set up operations on the lot. Dreyfus spent the past 13 years at UTA repping writers, directors and producers, and before that was an agent at ICM where she spent eight years in the motion picture literary department. She began her agent career at the InterTalent. “I’m thrilled to have Barbara on my team,” Packer said. “Her impeccable taste in material and great relationships across the creative community will be key assets as we establish and expand our Will Packer Productions brand. Additionally, she shares my passion for quality commercial material.”
As part of the deal, Dreyfus’ clients will remain in the UTA fold repped by their UTA agent teams. “Barbara has been a tremendous colleague, agent and friend for more than a decade, and we are excited to continue to work closely with her in supporting Will’s extraordinary vision and the rapid growth of Will Packer Productions,” said UTA Managing Director David Kramer and head of the motion picture literary department.
Ride Along opened over the just-ended MLK holiday weekend to an estimated $48 million, a record for that holiday frame. The Tim Story-directed pic was the fifth Packer-produced movie to open at No. 1 at the box office, joining Stomp The Yard, Takers, Obsessed and Think Like A Man. Already on the shingle’s 2014 slate is the remake of About Last Night starring Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Kevin Hart and Joy Bryant; the thriller No Good Deed, starring Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson; and Think Like A Man Too. Packer also just wrapped Screen Gems’ The Wedding Ringer, starring Josh Gad and Hart, set for a 2015 bow.
Packer’s company also signed a two-year television deal last summer with Universal TV, with Packer hiring WBTV’s Director of Drama Development Korin Huggins as Head of Television. “Barbara and Korin form a potent one-two punch and I am excited about the content we will generate in the years to come”, Packer said.
Will Packer Productions is repped by UTA and attorney Matt Johnson at Ziffren Brittenham.