photo above courtesy of bing
Okay, so unless you’ve been M.I.A for the past month, don’t have a television or just don’t go to the movies – AT ALL! then maybe you weren’t aware of a movie called “Black Panther” in which grossed more than 240 million dollars (US) and over 400 million worldwide in it’s opening weekend of (February 16, 2018); which is the highest grossing opening of all time, according to Vanity Fair. Can somebody say WOW!!! and I don’t even think that’s a good word to describe the magnitude of this moment.
At the helm of such success is none other than 31 yr old film director, Ryan Coogler. However; this is not Coogler’s first acclaimed film – he also directed and wrote Fruitvale Station, starring Michael B. Jordan and Creed, in which again starred Michael B. Jordan and Sylvester Stallone in which gained much notoriety for Coogler.
So, as you can see – Coogler is no stranger to the film world; although this may be your first time hearing of him. Out of both films, Black Panther leads the pack and has taken Coogler from being sought as just acclaimed director to being put up in the ranks with such likes as Steven Spielberg. According to CNBC, when Coogler was a kid, he received his first comic book in which was “Black Panther” – fascinated by the fact that there were comic books that contained African Americans, this sparked something in Coogler – BUT, film-making was not on his to do list – football was.
When the football program got cancelled at his college (Saint Mary’s), Coogler transferred to Sacramento State with the intent to play football, but got whiff of a film school at the University of Southern California – Los Angeles by a professor:
“It was either go there or play wide receiver. “I was short, my prospects weren’t the highest, so I jumped off that cliff and drove to L.A.”
A major jump that lead him to live out of his car during his first semester at USC – however; that didn’t bother Coogler, whom used that “gray” time as motivation to create a series of short films, one in which included a film entitled “Fig” which chronicled the life of a prostitute trying to bring positive change to her life all while raising a child on her own.
“That film is from deep research, I spent Christmas break on the streets and got a lot of stories. I never want to shy away from the truth.”
In creating his third film and with a budget of $200 million, Coogler was determined to bring a black super hero to the big screen and that he did. The little boy whom questioned if there were any black people represented in comic books, has now opened up the doors for many young African american boys and girls to see themselves in print and on the big screen as heroes and she-ro’s. Thanks Ryan Coogler, for being persistent and paving the way!!
Move over Hollywood, Ryan Coogler is here to Stay!
Roshonda N. Blackmon – Creator of A Blog, A Magazine. It’s JustsumInspiration, Author, Speaker & Encourager