×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Daniel Ragussis to Direct Berner’s Marijuana Crime Thriller ‘Packs’

Rapper/marijuana mogul Berner has hired Daniel Ragussis, writer/director of “Imperium,” to direct the upcoming crime thriller “Packs” about the rise of “designer” marijuana, Variety has learned exclusively.

Francisco Ordoñez will write the screenplay based on a story by Berner, also known as Gilbert Milam, Jr. Berner will be financing the development and production of the film through his company, Bigger Business Entertainment.

The film tells the story of the rise of powerful designer marijuana across state lines in a multi-million dollar illegal drug trade that transformed the marijuana experience in America during the past decade. Berner become a marijuana industry entrepreneur with his own medical marijuana dispensaries such as Cookies SF, Collective Efforts, and H2C Cookies 707.

“We made whole markets go from buying Mexican weed for $40/ounce to buying Cali shit for $400/ounce,” Berner said. “It was like the coke wave of the ’70s and ’80s, and Northern California was a major part of it. With prohibition coming to an end, it’s only right to let the world know how it all really went down.”

California’s Proposition 215, or the Compassionate Use Act, was approved in 1996, allowing the use of medical cannabis. California’s Proposition 64, allowing use of recreational marijuana, was approved by voters in November.

Ragussis made his feature directing debut with “Imperium,” inspired by the undercover work of FBI agent Michael German. The film starred Daniel Radcliffe and Toni Collette and was released by Lionsgate Premiere in August.

Ragussis said, “Berner has the ability to provide an exclusive and authentic view of the designer marijuana smuggling trade, a gritty, cinematic world we’ve never seen on screen before.”

Ordoñez was a co-producer and story consultant on “Imperium.” He is currently developing his first feature film, “Asher.”

Ragussis is represented by UTA and Steve Crawford and Sara Bottfeld at Industry Entertainment. Both Ragussis and Ordoñez are represented by Mitch Smelkinson at Stone, Genow, Smelkinson, Binder & Christopher.

More Film

  • Bradley Cooper speaks at the 30th

    Producers Guild Shifts 2020 Awards Show to Hollywood Palladium

    The Producers Guild of America will hold its 31st Annual Producers Guild Awards at the Hollywood Palladium, shifting the site from the Beverly Hilton Hotel. The PGA had already announced that the show would take place on Jan. 18. The organization, which represents more than 8,000 producers, announced Thursday that it has launched a new [...]

  • Adam Driver appears in The Report

    Amazon’s ‘The Report’ Gets U.K. Theatrical Release Ahead of Streaming Launch

    Amazon Studio’s “The Report” will be released theatrically in the U.K. three weeks before it lands on the Prime Video streaming service. The Scott Z. Burns film tells the story of Daniel J. Jones, a U.S. Senate staffer who worked to reveal that truth about an “enhanced interrogation” program run by the CIA in the [...]

  • Elton John performing at Earls Court,

    Elton John Has a Message for Struggling LGBTQ Youth: 'Be Proud of Who You Are'

    Elton John isn’t at a loss for words when asked if he has a message for young LGBTQ people who are struggling with their sexuality or gender identity. In an exclusive interview with Variety at last month’s Cannes Film Festival, just hours before the world premiere of his long-in-the-works biopic “Rocketman,” John spoke candidly about the [...]

  • Salma Hayek Owen Wilson Bliss

    Salma Hayek, Owen Wilson to Star in Amazon's Sci-Fi Drama 'Bliss'

    Salma Hayek and Owen Wilson have signed on to star in Amazon’s science-fiction drama “Bliss,” with Mike Cahill directing from his own script. Wilson portrays a recently divorced man whose life is falling apart when he meets Hayek’s character, a woman who lives on the streets and is convinced that the polluted, broken world around [...]

  • Donald Glover Beyonce

    Beyoncé and Donald Glover Harmonize in 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' Ad Preview

    Anyone who’s longed to hear Beyoncé and Donald Glover harmonizing got just enough to further whet the appetite in a first snippet of their version of “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” that’s included in a new commercial for Disney’s upcoming “Lion King” remake. The TV spot lasts just 30 seconds, hardly time at all [...]

  • Pride Allies

    The Hollywood Allies Who Helped Protect, Advance the LGBTQ Community This Year

    Strong and proud as it is, the LGBTQ community’s fight for equality needs allies — from loving and accepting families to galvanized colleagues and corporations to the movie star you’ve never met calling for boycotts of a homophobic nation-state. Several of those queer supporters in Hollywood and music used the megaphones of social media, public [...]

  • 'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works

    'Easy A' Spinoff in the Works From Original Screenwriter (EXCLUSIVE)

    Nearly a decade after the success of “Easy A,” a spinoff of the coming-of-age comedy is in the works. Sources tell Variety that Screen Gems has appointed Bert Royal, who penned the first script, to write and direct the upcoming movie. Insiders stress that the film is still in early development, as Royal is still [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content