Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Studios, has announced a partnership with Hollywood’s Will Packer Productions to develop an untitled project based on the Bloomberg article “The Fall of Billionaire Gucci Master” by Evan Ratliff about Ramon Olorunwa Abbas’ life known as Hushpuppi.
Moe said she told the story to Will Packer and James Lopez in 2020 after it broke the internet. They rose to the top and together won the rights to the Bloomberg article after a highly competitive derby involving several producers.
According to the media mogul, the global action-thriller project will be a mix of “Catch Me If You Can and Normal Suspects” and will be set up at Universal Pictures.
Will Parker’s productions include Girls Trip, Think Like a Man, Breaking In, and Stomp the Yard. In a press release, he said, “Ten months ago, Mo gave us a rich and fun concept that is steeped in Nigerian culture and can only be told through her unique perspective. Together we know that Evan’s work was the final narrative and the perfect anchor for this saga. “
As Mo Abudu said in the same press release, “EbonyLife is uniquely positioned to ensure the depth and authenticity of this film. That’s why we have to work with big Hollywood producers like Will Packer Productions – they are equally interested in telling stories that resonate with our audience.
“We understand the environment of poverty and deprivation that produces a highly talented and fundamentally inadequate character like Hushpuppi, and WPP knows how to write a story with global appeal.”
EbonyLife Studios productions include “Wedding Party”, “Oloture”, “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel”, “Chief Daddy”, “Castle and Castle”, “His Majesty”, “Fifty The Series”, “The Governor”. “Sons of the Caliphate”, “On The Real” and many other amazing works.
Mo left a large message on Instagram that said:
“Hello beautiful people ❤️❤️I HAVE SOME BREAKING NEWS TO SHARE WITH YOU!!!
EbonyLife Studios is partnering with Will Packer Productions to develop an untitled project based on the Bloomberg article “The Fall of the Billionaire Gucci Master” by Evan Ratliff.
When the Hushpuppi story made headlines last year, I pitched the story idea to @willpowerpacker and James Lopez. They bought the idea and as headlined in this press release, together we won the rights to the Bloomberg article by Evan Ratliff mentioned above.
The rights were won after a highly contested derby by several producers and is now set up at Universal Pictures. The globetrotting action thriller project is said to be a hybrid of CATCH ME IF YOU CAN and USUAL SUSPECTS. It’s a dream come true to be working with Will Packer Productions and Universal Pictures on this project 😊😊😊
Just like a refresher, Will Packer Productions and Universal Pictures need no introduction. WPP has released a number of blockbusters including Girls Trip, Think Like a Man Too, Ride Along, Think Like a Man, Takers, Obsessed, Breaking In, and Stomp the Yard and Universal Pictures has made some of the biggest titles in the world with over 100 years in the Hollywood film business, and I couldn’t contain my excitement.”
She later shared another post stating that her decision to tell such a story was due to the many lessons to be learned and the need for Nigerian storytellers to authenticate these stories before others do. “Not all Nigerians are 419 con artists,” she added.
“Further to the announcement just made about our partnership with Will Packer Productions and Universal Pictures, some of you might ask, why do we choose to tell a story like this?
Firstly, there are many lessons to be learnt from good and bad stories.
Secondly if we do not tell this story, someone else will and to ensure that this story is told with authenticity, a Nigerian storyteller with our pedigree needs to be involved.
Too often, these types of characters are one-dimensional and feed into the worst stereotypes.
Hushpuppi’s story is based on a real person whose story is already partly known to the world but the film gives us a real chance to tell a cautionary tale about a character formed by his environment and life choices.
The films of Martin Scorsese are a great example of a filmmaker telling richly layered stories of criminal characters from his heritage that we’ve all grown to love, without ever creating the impression that all Italian-Americans are members of the mafia. Needless to say, all Nigerians are not 419 scam artists.”
Announcing the partnership on social media, Will Parker said,
“THIS. ONE. IS. HUGE!!!! 🔥🔥🔥 If you know you KNOW and if not… you might want to hurry up and find out”
We are absolutely in love with the EbonyLife team and can’t wait to see the magic they create.