Will Packer, Mo Abudu To Adapt Bloomberg Article Into Film

Will Packer, Mo Abudu To Adapt Bloomberg Article Into Film

Will Packer, Mo Abudu To Adapt Bloomberg Article Into Film

Recognized by Forbes as Africa’s Most Successful Woman and one of The Hollywood Reporter’s Most Powerful Women in Global Television, Mosunmola Abudu, better known in the entertainment field as Mo Abudu, is a force in the television scene. With no background in television or film, the Nigerian entrepreneur has left her mark, raising the bar to levels that were never seen before she paved the way. The 56-year-old entrepreneur was born in London, where she spent her formative years. Before embarking on a career in television, Abudu began in the field of recruitment, eventually reaching her peak as a recruiter in oil and gas. Abudu left her top job as a recruiter to host Moment with Mo, Africa’s first syndicated talk show. On the show, Abudu hosted top guests, including former United States Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, British businessman Mo. Ibrahim, and various heads of state.

In 2006, Abudu transcended greater heights by establishing EbonyLife TV, a pan-African station targeting audiences in over 49 countries. Asked how it came about, the media mogul said: “ It’s been a long climb, and things don’t happen overnight…I was born in England, and I’ve lived in England pretty much all my life. I found myself always being asked the most ridiculous questions about where I came from, like did we dance around fires.” These questions piqued Mo Abudu’s interest, and, after making the fourth pilot for a talk show, Moments with Mo was born. Abudu’s idea was to have a talk show that could travel. Transitioning to a channel was no walk in the park either, but one thing was clear; 70% of its content had to be local. “ We decided that we wanted to make the local content. For a whole year, we sat, producing content. And we had to start from concepts to scripting to finding staff, to producers.” With a little under a year in operation, the channel became one of MultiChoice’s most-watched, featuring programs like Desperate Housewives Africa, On the Real, and The Governor. Abudu later founded EbonyLife Films, through which she produced movies such as The Wedding Party, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, Chief Daddy, and Your Excellency.

Through the years, Abudu has partnered with top players in the game including Sony Pictures Television, with whom she had a three-year partnership, AMC Networks, with whom she produced Nigeria 2099, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith’s Westbrook Studios, and the giant streamer, Netflix. As part of her agreement with Netflix, EbonyLife will develop a series adapted off of  Lola Shoneyin’s novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives. EbonyLife is also set to adapt playwright and novelist Wole Soyinka’s Death and the King’s Horseman into film. Most recently, Mo Abudu, through her Instagram account, revealed that she, in partnership with film producer Will Packer, will develop an article by Bloomberg into film.

Where There’s A Will

Will Packer’s earliest beginnings in film making involved him interning for producer Warrington Hudlin while he was still a student at the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. While he studied electrical engineering and graduated with honors, he took an interest in film. In college, Packer’s path crossed with that of Rob Hardy, with whom he made his first film, Chocolate City. Post-graduation, the pair left Florida for Atlanta and set up their first company. In an interview with Complex, Packer said of his business partner Rob Hardy: “ He wanted to be the next Spike Lee, Hughes Brothers, John Singleton. He had watched them. He had made a small movie in high school. He was like ‘ I wanna be a film director.’”

The making of Chocolate City was a hustle, Packer said. “ We borrowed like $20,000 to make it. Borrowed is not the right term, we begged for that money and they gave it to us. From the student government, the Pan-Hellenic Council, we got the frats and sororities to kick in some money, we got local folks in the community to give us cameras and equipment.” Packer has since gone past his humble start and brought us high-grossing films such as Think Like a Man, Ride Along, and Girl’s Trip, the highest-grossing comedy in the year of its release. The Primetime Emmy Award nominee’s films have collectively grossed over a billion dollars in the box office, yet it’s as if he only just began. On the fifth of August, Packer shared the news that he and Abudu had acquired rights to an article about the fall of ‘Billionaire Gucci Master.’

‘Billionaire Gucci Master’

On the 30th of June, Bloomberg published an article about influencer Ramon Abbas, also known to his staunch fanbase as Hushpuppi. The 38-year-old online sensation was known for flaunting his lavish lifestyle on Instagram and pairing his pictures with words of inspiration. The socialite was living large until June 2020, when he was arrested for his involvement in money laundering and fraud. The article detailed Abbas’ fleet of luxury cars, affiliation with popular idols, and his unseen charity donations. It further gave an account of the Instagram celebrity’s swindling background, which had, until the time of publication, been subject to cultural references. In a 2017 song dubbed ‘Telli Person’ by Nigerian artists Timaya, Olamide, and Phyno, the celebrity’s lifestyle was highly criticized and his downfall was predicted.

While Bloomberg’s article came one year after the influencer’s arrest, its timing was perfect for Mo Abudu to jump in and bring Packer on board. In an Instagram post, Park shared news of the acquisition of the article’s rights, captioning it: “ This one is huge! If you know, you know and if not…you might want to hurry up and find out.” Abudu took to the comments section to nod in approval: “ Will, I am so, so excited to be working with you on this project. So much work done and still a ton more to do. But I know together we will make it happen. Thank you for the trust.” She wrote. The pair got fans fired up, flooding the comments section with approval. Just as they are waiting with bated breath, we are eager to see the magic Packer and Abudu bring on our screens.Girl’s Trip

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