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Reel Talk July 25
By Shonassee Shaver
Published July 24, 2013


Will Packer 2-year Universal Television Deal  

Will Packer may not be a household name yet, but he is well on his way.  Packer scored a 2-year deal with Universal Television. Future projects are soon to follow.  Will credits include box office hits: Stomp The Yard (2007), This Christmas (2007), Obsessed (2009), Takers (2010) and Think Like A Man (2012). 

The talented producer was featured in Jet magazine’s “Who’s Hot To Watch in 2008.  Well, we have been watching and like what we see. Packer’s unique flare to his films places black actors in a sexy, classic and smart manner on film.  Hollywood Executives have taken noticed, “We have been impressed by his keen eye on the feature side with the several hit movies he’s produced. We are looking forward to bringing his enthusiasm and expertise into television,” said Bela Bajaria, EVP of Universal TV 

He has production company Rainforest Film with fellow filmmaker Rod Hardy.  Think Like A Man Too (2014) is produced by Rainforest Films. Future projects include Ride Along (2014) featuring Kevin Hart and Ice Cube, remake of About Last Night (2014) starring Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy and Paula Patton, No Good Deed (2014) with Idris Elba and Taraji P. Henson. 

Will Packer is serving up some competition for filmmaker Tyler Perry.

The Butler

The Butler, based on the life of Eugene Allen, who served as a butler for the White House is coming to theatres August 16, 2013.  The film takes us through the lens of a butler Cecil Gaines who served eight presidents as the White House’s head butler from 1952 to 1986. The film gives us a candid look into the world of politics, social and racial history from the perspective of an African American butler.

The film is directed and produced by Lee Daniels, who directed and produced Oscar winner films Monster’s Ball and Precious. It is not surprising to see Daniels linked to this film, seeing that he is always cinematically backing eye opening films. 

The Butler includes a star studded cast, Forest Whitaker, Oprah Winfrey, Cuba Gooding Jr., Terrence Howard and so many more are a part of the historical film.  

‘12 Years a Slave’

Not another slave movie some may say. Actor Chiwetel Ejiofor from ‘2012’ and ‘American Gangster’ flicks plays real-life slave Solomon Northup. The film echoes a free Black man’s fight for survival and freedom during the pre-Civil War in the United States in 1841.  He is captured and enslaved on a plantation in New Orleans. Solomon Northup a free Black man from upstate New York is abduct and sold into slavery. He faces the harsh realities of enslavement. He is the victim of the malicious slave owner, Michael Fassbender played by actor Edwin Epps.  As Solomon holds on to his life and dignity, he encounters a Canadian abolitionist by the name of Bass (Brad Pitt).  In the twelfth year of his unforgettable odyssey, Solomon’s encounter with Bass proves to be life changing.  

Directed by Steve McQueen and written by John Riley.  The film also stars young starlet and Oscar nominee Quvenzhané Wallis as Margret Northup.  Actor, Michael Kenneth Williams from ‘Snitch’ and ‘Brooklyn’s Finest’ is featured in the film as Robert as well as Actress Alfre Woodard who plays Mistress Harriet Shaw.

Shall we say this is another spin on American slavery, a la filmmaker Quentin Tarintino’s ‘Django’?




Categories: Entertainment

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