Adam Shankman & Will Packer Interview: What Men Want

Adam Shankman is an American film director and producer. He was a judge on So You Think You Can Dance. He began his professional career in musical theater. He directed films like A Walk to Remember, Rock of Ages and The Wedding Planner. He steps away from his musical movies to take on this reimagining of the 2000 film What Women Want, with the help from his producer Will Packer - who has worked on Ride Along, Girls Trip and the Think Like a Man series.

Screen Rant: Congratulations on this film. It was hilarious.

Adam Shankman: Thank you. Thank you man.

Screen Rant: At some points I was trying to catch my breath because especially with that one scene with Taraji and Aldis where they're trying to get the boy to come to them during the game. There's a few of those.

Adam Shankman: Oh, the skybox. Yeah. Yes.

Screen Rant: Now this was a great reimagining remake of the original film from the early two thousands of why was this important to make now and what made Taraji perfect for this role?

WIll Packer: You know, I'll take that. I think that this movie feels like a piece of art in a story that's being told through the lens of today. I think that it is. I'm being told in a way that the original film didn't approach the world because it was a different world. Yeah. So Taraji was perfect for this because she's such an amazing actress, but she's fearless and she's got comedic chops that people don't know about, but they're going to see at this moment.

What Men Want Taraji P Henson Ali Paramount

Screen Rant: So this is a little bit. This is a little different from a usual. You do like a lot of romantic comedy and musicals. What experience from those did you take into this and it helped you create this film?

Adam Shankman: I'm mostly okay. So when I get a script or um, you know, sort of in my mind thinking about, by the way, I don't, I've never even told you this in my head. If I can imagine the trailer, I could make the movie and that's what I always said so and I could see the trailer for this immediately, but when I get a script it reads to me like a score and it has a certain kind of music of musicality to it and whether it's driven by strings or whether it's driven by piano or a drum or whatever. And I saw this and especially when I knew that Taraji was involved, I heard a certain kind of music to at a certain rhythm to it that I, that I was like, oh, I know what this is and if I'm allowed to do the thing that I do then it makes perfect sense. So I mean, in a way it actually does fit with like, I mean, between, uh, bringing down the house and hairspray and I bought, you know, wedding planner was certainly romantic and A walk to remember it was very romantic. I mean, it's not like this, it's not like I've avoided love in my work, but, um, I, I just, I, I helped what this movie was. Yes.

Screen Rant: Now this is like, it's so funny. It's a really funny movie. But what message do you want viewers to take away from it as they leave the theater.

Adam Shankman: Listen to each other? There you go.

WIll Packer: That's right. At the end of the day, it's a movie about communication, right? And so it's fun to think about, boy, what if you could get inside the heads of men, but really it's about a movie that is forcing someone to listen to other people at a time. In Our world where we do the exact opposite, we don't listen to each other, we do not communicate. We are in our own echo chambers. We are more divided than ever, but we can all become our own best selves if we were open to people that

Adam Shankman: And we're dug in like she's dug in that movie, you know what I mean? People get really, really dug in.

WIll Packer: He has dug in her ways and set in her ways and thinks the way that she thinks and she's able to open up and become a better person because of it. Yeah. That's part of her arc.

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Key Release Dates
  • What Men Want (2019) release date: Feb 08, 2019
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