Born William Packer
April 11, 1974 (age 41)
St. Petersburg, Florida
Residence Atlanta, Georgia
Education St. Petersburg High School
Alma mater Florida A&M University
Occupation Film producer
Notable work Produced Think Like a Man, Obsessed, Ride Along, About Last Night
Nina Packer (2001-2009)
Heather Packer (2015-present)
Will Packer (born April 11, 1974) is an American film producer. He is the founder of Will Packer Productions. Packer is known for producing low-budget, high-profit movies that have made him one of Hollywood's unsung successes. He has been included in several high-profile lists, including GIANT magazine's "The GIANT 100", Jet magazine's "Who's Hot To Watch in 2008" and Black Enterprise's "Most Powerful Players Under 40."
1 Early life
2.1 Rainforest Films
2.2 Will Packer Productions
3.1 Feature films
4 Personal life
William Packer was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Florida. He graduated from St. Petersburg High School in 1991 and began attending Florida A&M University that fall. In 1996, Packer graduated magna cum laude from FAMU with a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering.
It was at FAMU that he started filmmaking with colleague and future business partner Rob Hardy while participating in an internship with veteran producer Warrington Hudlin. In 1994, Packer and Hardy produced their first film, Chocolate City, for $20,000 and Packer helped broker a small distribution deal with Blockbuster video. After graduating, Packer and Hardy moved to Atlanta, Georgia and co-founded Rainforest Films. Packer produced and oversaw the company's studio-financed and self-financed films and distribution projects. Packer and Hardy's vision was to make films that would appeal to black audiences who hadn't seen genre films starring people like themselves.
In 2000, Trois, Rainforest Film's first movie to be released theatrically, grossed over $1.2 million and became the fastest million-dollar grossing film independently distributed by African Americans. Trois was in the Top 50 Highest Grossing Independent Films of the year, according to Daily Variety, and Rainforest Films was at #34 on the list of Top 100 Film Distributors of 2000 listed by The Hollywood Reporter in August 2001. Due to the success of their first film, Packer and Hardy were listed among the "New Establishment" of Black power brokers in Hollywood.
In 2001, Packer helped broker a deal with Sony to produce and distribute urban films including Trois's sequel, Trois: The Escort, and Motives. The film Lockdown, released on home video under this Rainforest-Sony collaboration, was one of Columbia Tri-Star's top selling independent releases. In 2005, Rainforest Films released The Gospel. At this time, Packer started using the shortened moniker "Will Packer".
Packer and Hardy wanted Rainforest's films to include established actors and actresses as well as those who are up and coming. 2007's This Christmas, a film about a middle-class family that reunites at Christmas time for the first time in many years, stars veteran actresses Loretta Devine and Regina King as well as R&B superstar Chris Brown in his feature film debut. Packer produced five #1 films with Rainforest, Stomp the Yard, Obsessed, Takers, Think like a Man and Ride Along. His biggest hits with Rainforest have been Think like a Man, which grossed over $96 million worldwide after being released in April 2012, and Ride Along, which brought in box office receipts totaling nearly $150 million as of April 2014.
In television, Packer, along with Andrew Young, Martin Luther King III, and Rainforest Films partner Rob Hardy, is co-founder of Bounce TV, a United States television network airing on digital terrestrial television stations. Promoted as "the first 24/7 digital multicast broadcast network created exclusively for African Americans," Bounce TV launched on September 26, 2011 and features programming geared toward blacks and African Americans in the 25–54 age range.
In June 2014, Packer and Hardy dissolved Rainforest Films. The pair were included in a lawsuit brought by former business partner Bernard Bronner in late June 2014.
Will Packer Productions
In 2013, and while still producing for Rainforest Films, Packer launched Will Packer Productions. In July 2013, he signed a two-year deal with Universal Television to develop new projects for the studio. Later that year, he signed a three year deal with Universal Pictures. During the dissolution of Rainforest Films in June 2014, it was announced that the last Packer-produced film that would appear under the Rainforest Film's banner would be February 2014's About Last Night. Think Like a Man Too, No Good Deed, The Wedding Ringer and Ride Along 2 (all Packer-produced films that were in development, filming or in post-production at the time of Rainforest Films' dissolution) all fell under the new shingle, Will Packer Productions.
Chocolate City (1994) (producer)
Trois (2000) (writer, producer)
Trois 2: Pandora's Box (2002) (story writer, producer)
Motives (2004) (producer)
Trois: The Escort (2004) (executive producer)
The Gospel (2005) (producer)
The Gospel Live (2005) (executive producer)
Puff, Puff, Pass (2006) (producer)
Stomp the Yard (2007) (producer)
Motives 2 (2007) (producer)
This Christmas (2007) (producer)
Three Can Play That Game (2008) (producer)
Obsessed (2009) (producer)
Takers (2010) (producer)
Stomp the Yard: Homecoming (2010) (producer)
Alpha Man: The Brotherhood Of MLK (2011) (executive producer)
Think Like a Man (2012) (producer, cameo appearance)
Battle of the Year (2013) (executive producer)
Ride Along (2014) (producer)
About Last Night (2014) (producer)
Think Like a Man Too (2014) (producer, cameo appearance)
No Good Deed (2014) (producer)
The Wedding Ringer (2015) (producer)
Straight Outta Compton (2015) (executive producer)
Ride Along 2 (2016) (producer)
A Meyers Christmas (2016) (producer)
Untitled Girls Trip Project (TBA) (producer)
Black Phantom (TBA) (producer)
Me Time (TBA) (producer)
Terminal Point (TBA) (producer)
Uncle Buck (2016)
Truth Be Told (2015)
Roots (2016) (executive producer)
Packer is a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity (inducted into the Beta Nu Chapter at FAMU). Packer married his first wife Nina (former general manager of Bryant Management, the artist management firm for Lil' Wayne and his YMCMB label) in July 2001 and they have two daughters together. They were divorced in February 2009. Packer proposed to his fiancé Heather Hayslett live on stage at the 2013 Essence Music Festival. They were married on Friday, August 28, 2015 in Georgia.