James F. Lopez, who for the past three years was president of Will Packer Productions where he produced a string of hits including Girls Trip and Night School, has been hired as president of Macro Film Studios, the motion picture arm of Charles D. King’s Macro.
Lopez, who before joining WPP in 2015 worked at Sony’s Screen Gems as SVP Production and helped steer hits including Think Like A Man, About Last Night, Think Like A Man Too, The Wedding Ringer, The Perfect Guy and When The Bough Breaks, will now oversee Macro’s slate of film projects in development, production and distribution following the success last year of the company’s Best Picture Oscar nominee Judas and the Black Messiah.
He joins a team that includes CEO King, EVP Poppy Hanks and VP Greta Fuentes as Macro expands its film business, which aims to tell diverse stories on a global scale. The news Wednesday comes a week after the hires of Hanks as EVP Film Production and Development and Fuentes as VP Film Production and Development.
“James Lopez is an exceptional producer and leader,” Macro founder and CEO King said Wednesday in announcing the hire. “I respect him immensely. I trust his creative instincts and his understanding of the culture and his connection to artists are unparalleled. As Macro is at an exciting inflection point of expansion, I am thrilled to have him by my side as partner to lead the growth of our film business.”
At Will Packer Productions, Lopez produced Universal’s The Photograph starring Issa Rae and LaKeith Stanfield; Little starring Rae, Regina Hall and Marsai Martin; What Men Want starring Taraji P. Henson; and Breaking In starring Gabrielle Union. He also is a producer on Baltasar Kormakur’s action thriller Beast starring Idris Elba and Sharlto Copley, which is aiming for an August 2022 release.
His EP credits at WPP included Girls Trip, the hit ensemble comedy that grossed more than $140 million worldwide, and Night School starring Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, which grossed over $100 million. Other pics on his watch included Almost Christmas starring Union and Danny Glover and Jacob’s Ladder starring Michael Ealy and Jesse Williams.
Lopez said the opportunity to build other businesses with Macro — which also counts a TV studio, talent (M88) and influencer (Uncmmn) rep divisions, a branding and creative agency and an affiliated venture firm (MaC Venture Capital) among its verticals — was a draw in the move.
“Making the decision of setting up my own shingle or joining an existing organization was a difficult one to make,” he said. “Charles and I are aligned in our vision which made this decision very easy the more we talked. Having the opportunity not only to lead the motion picture group but to build other business alongside was a challenge and opportunity that I am very excited about. I look forward to breaking new ground and building a legacy alongside Charles, Poppy, Greta and the entire team at Macro.”
On the film side, Macro most recently co-financed and produced Judas, which was nominated for six Oscars and won Best Actor for Daniel Kaluuya and Original Song, as well as Mudbound and Sorry to Bother You. It co-financed and EP’d Fences, Roman J. Israel and Just Mercy.