Girls Trip is arguably the funniest film of 2017, and many moviegoers have seen the racy, R-rated comedy two or three times. Perhaps that’s why to date, the movie has made $114 million (it cost just $19 million to make). And it’s reportedly the first studio movie written, directed, produced by, and starring black talent to pass $100 million at the box office.
Vulture spoke with Girls Trip producer Will Packer — currently developing the Tiffany Haddish–Kevin Hart comedy, Night School — and discussed how he fought for Girls Trip to star four black women, and the plans for a possible sequel.
“We’re definitely talking about [Girls Trip 2]”, Packer said. “The only thing harder than opening a studio comedy today is opening a studio comedy sequel. That’s the next challenge. I love our team. If anybody can do it, we can do it. It’s still a little early – the movie is still in theatres – but it’s something we’ve all thought about.”
Girls Trip, Packer told Vulture, was a “story that I knew.”
“I had been to the actual [Essence] Festival multiple years; I knew it very well. I knew that there was a movie against that backdrop. You had all these women that would take this annual pilgrimage, almost, to go and enjoy each other and have fun and behave in a way that had nothing to do with how people were perceiving them, or how men would judge them,” he said.
“It was about these women just being authentically and organically themselves. That’s what we need. I’ve seen this movie before with white men. I’ve seen versions of this movie with white women. But we haven’t seen it with women of color. And so as a producer, part of my job is to find those types of opportunities, and to create content in spaces and with themes that we haven’t seen.”
And Packer, who has produced a string of hits including Straight Outta Compton, and the Think Like a Man and Ride Along films, said he is pleased he got the story right.
“Without a doubt, my number-one favorite response that I’ve heard from audiences is, ‘You got it right, that is us, that is so real, that is so authentic, I know those women, I am those women,’” he told Vulture. “When you’re talking about creating a fictional piece of content and people react to it in that way, in my opinion, there’s no higher praise.”
And does the A-list producer think Girls Trip has marked a turning point for black actresses in Hollywood?
“What it will mean for black actresses specifically, comedies like this, movies that are led by actresses of color? We will see,” Packer told Vulture.
“I think it definitely opens the door for somebody else to come in and say, ‘Well, it’s in the vein of Girls Trip,’ or ‘It’s not unlike Girls Trip,’ ‘It’s got the tone of a Girls Trip.’ That’s how our town works, and so this definitely opens the door for other projects that have similar elements to get a green light, where they perhaps wouldn’t have before, because there was no model of success to point to. I’m optimistic about that.”
Read the full interview with Packer here.