Interesting development, roughly 9 months after news of the dissolving of Rainforest Films was made public, with Will Packer inking a 3-year first-look production agreement with Universal Pictures, that would see the producer develop new scripted projects for the studio under his newly formed Will Packer Productions banner.
The obvious question I had at the time of the above announcements was what it meant for the Rainforest Films Banner, and Packer’s partner Rob Hardy – a company responsible for films like "Takers," "Stomp The Yard," "This Christmas," "Obsessed," "Think Like A Man," and others.
We now have our answer, as as Hardy has now launched Rainforest Entertainment (notice the slight difference between both full names), with an eye towards building a new film, TV and digital platform brand. Hardy has also named Mitzi Miller Head of Development for the new company.
Full details below via press release…
Rob Hardy, CEO of Rainforest Entertainment, announced today that he has tapped Mitzi Miller to serve as Head of Development for the film, television and digital media production company. The new position was created for Miller who recently departed from Johnson Publishing Company where she spent three years as the editor-in-chief of Jet Magazine, and the last ten months at the top position for Ebony Magazine.
This year, Miller also celebrated the success of "With This Ring," the Lifetime Original movie starring Regina Hall, Jill Scott and Eve, based on the 2006 bestseller "The Vow: A Novel," which she co-authored.
Miller will be based in Los Angeles for Rainforest.
“It is an incredible opportunity to work with Rob and the Rainforest team,” says Miller. “There is an increasing demand from viewers for diverse, authentic content and I’m excited to develop new stories that resonate with these audiences.”
In addition to a successful publishing career spanning over fourteen years, Miller is a public speaker and accomplished author. Her works over the past decade include "The Vow: A Novel; The Angry Black Woman’s Guide to Life;" and the three-title "Hotlanta" young adult series. Last year, she ranked #16 on The Root 100 an annual ranking of the most influential African-Americans in the country.
"Mitzi is a smart, creative and innovative thinker, who has amazing ideas and is in touch with what people want to see,” says Hardy, who recently directed an episode of “Empire,” television’s fastest growing new drama in more than a decade. "She will be a tremendous asset to Rainforest Entertainment, and we’re ready to hit the ground running.”
Rainforest Entertainment is the latest company from NAACP-nominated television director and movie producer Rob Hardy after dissolving his hit-making company Rainforest Films with partner Will Packer. Rainforest Films spawned major box office films such as "Think Like A Man," "Takers" and "Stomp The Yard."
Since recently serving as executive producer on the profitable "No Good Deed" for Sony Pictures, Hardy has also returned to television with directing stints on several hit shows including “The Flash,” “Power,” “Criminal Minds,” “Being Mary Jane,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Vampire Diaries” and more.
Rainforest Entertainment will focus on developing scripted and non-scripted content for film, television and digital platforms.