Malcolm almost passed up the chance to direct Night School, says producer Will Packer

Malcolm almost passed up the chance to direct Night School, says producer Will Packer

By Samantha Ofole-Prince/Photos by Photos by Eli Joshua Adé

Malcolm D Lee had just wrapped up a hectic schedule directing the hugely successful film “Girls Trip” when producer Will Packer came knocking with another project.  The duo had previously worked together on the “Best Man” franchise and when Packer heard about the comedy “Night School,” he knew Lee was the perfect choice to helm the film, which stars two hugely popular comedians.

“He was trying to take a vacation with his family after “Girls Trip.”  I told him that sounded amazing, but he couldn’t do it because I have this movie and you got to do it,” laughs Packer, who after telling him Kevin Hart was attached to the movie immediately got Lee to sign on as the director had always wanted to work with Hart.

A film which follows a group of misfits who are forced to attend adult classes in the longshot chance they’ll pass the common entrance exam, Hart plays Teddy, a successful salesman who after losing his job is forced to attend night school at his former almost-alma mater to regain employment.  It’s there he meets the tough instructor, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), who teaches math and science to the roomful of adult misfits that include a homemaker returning to night school and another who has lost his job to a robot and is now understandably distrusting of technology.

“Malcolm is very specific about what he wants,” Packer continues. “He is a director who has a lot of confidence in what he’s trying to get out of the performances and does ensemble comedy very well.”

It’s a film with a multitalented cast made up primarily of actors with comedic backgrounds. From “SNL” alum, Rob Riggle, Ben Schwartz to Yvonne Orji (TV’s “Insecure”), it features a huge ensemble and is the perfect vehicle for Hart who penned and pitched the script to Packer having worked with the producer before on several films.

“Night School is the kind of movie that audiences should flock to see because we haven’t had a comedy in a while with an ensemble cast like this with a theme like this,” Packer adds. “You get to see this group of hilarious characters all going back to school in an attempt to get their educational qualifications.”

Lee currently has several feature projects in development, including “Rock the Bells;” the next installment of the popular Best Man franchise, “The Best Man Wedding;” and a feature adaptation of Terry McMillan’s latest novel, “I Almost Forgot About You,” as a starring vehicle for Viola Davis.

“Night School” releases in US theaters Friday.

Check out the trailer below:

MALCOLM D. LEE - Photo by Eli Joshua Ade
KEVIN HART, producer WILL PACKER and star TIFFANY HADDISH - Photo by Eli Joshua Adeě