Will Packer, one of the filmmakers behind Straight Outta Compton and the Ride Along franchise, has signed with CAA. Packer, who is one of the top producers working today in film and TV, has a first-look deal with Universal Pictures under the production banner that bears his name. Through that company, he has produced eight No. 1 films at the box office, including both Ride Along and Think Like a Man franchise films, as well as No Good Deed, Takers, Stomp the Yard and Obsessed. His next film, Almost Christmas starring Danny Glover, Gabrielle Union and Omar Epps, comes out Nov. 11 from Universal Pictures.
By the way, Packer has enjoyed great success while at his former agency UTA with a team that was constantly promoting him. He was also the executive producer on Straight Outta Compton which reigned at the box office last year three weeks in a row at No. 1. Released in August, the critical favorite ended up grossing over $200M worldwide (together the two Ride Along pictures has taken in $277M worldwide). Straight Outta Compton failed, however, to receive an Academy award nomination for Best Picture, which began an industry wide outcry and national conversation about the lack of diversity in Hollywood.
After the snub, Packer took to social media afterwards to talk about diversity. After congratulating the nominees, he wrote: “It’s a complete embarrassment to say that the heights of cinematic achievement have only been reached by white people. I repeat—it’s embarrassing.”
On the television side, Packer has an overall deal with Universal Television and is the executive producer of the eight-hour mini-series Roots remake. The highly anticipated project will air over four consecutive nights starting May 30 on History, A&E and Lifetime. His next primetime network series is ABC’s Uncle Buck that debuts Tuesday, June 14.
Packer will continue to be repped by Ziffren Brittenham and Chicago-based PR firm The Collins Jackson Agency.