Ryan Coogler

Ryan Coogler

Ryan Cooglerspeaking at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.

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Created: 23 July 2016

Ryan Kyle Coogler (born May 23, 1986) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. His first feature film, Fruitvale Station (2013), won the top audience and grand jury awards in the U.S. dramatic competition at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. He has since co-written and directed the seventh film in the Rocky series, Creed (2015), and the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Black Panther (2018), the latter of which became the third biggest box office in American film history.

Coogler’s films have received significant critical acclaim and commercial success. In 2013, he was included on Times list of the 30 people under 30 who are changing the world. His work has been hailed by critics for centering on often overlooked cultures and characters—most notably black people. He frequently collaborates with actorMicheal B. Jordan, who has appeared in all of his feature films, as well as composer Ludwig Goransson, who has scored all of his films.

Coogler was born on May 23, 1986 in Oakland, California. His mother, Joselyn (née Thomas), is a community organizer, and his father, Ira Coogler, is a juvenile hall probation counselor. Both parents graduated from California State University, Hayward. He has two brothers, Noah and Keenan. His uncle, Clarence Thomas, is a third-generation Oakland longshoreman, and the and the former secretary treasurer of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union.

Coogler lived in Oakland, until age eight, when he moved to Richmond, California. During his youth, he ran track and played football. He went to a private Catholic high school, Saint Mary’s College High School in Albany, California, and was good at math and science. He started his college journey at Saint Mary’s College of California in Moraga, CA, on a football scholarship as a redshirt wide receiver his freshman semester intending to study chemistry. The football players were encouraged to take a creative writing course. Coogler’s teacher on this course praised his work and said it was very visual and encouraged him to pursue screenwriting.

After Saint Mary’s canceled its football program in March 2004, he transferred and earned a scholarship to play at and attend Sacramento State, where in his four years he grabbed 112 receptions for 1,213 yards and 6 touchdowns. At Sacramento, he majored in finance and took as many film classes as he could fit in with the rigors of college football. Following graduation, he attended USC School of Cinematic Arts, where he made a series of short films.

In January 2016, Coogler signed on to co-write and direct the Marvel Cinematic Universe Film‘Black Panther,’making him the youngest Marvel Studios filmmaker. The film, starring Chadwick Boseman as the titular character, began production in January 2017, and was released in 2018. Michael B. Jordan appears as the main antagonist Erik Killmonger, having thus starred in all ofCoogler’s films.

Upon release, the film was an overwhelming commercial success, grossing the fifth largest opening weekend box-office results of all-time, as well as the second highest four-day gross in history. It eventually became the highest grossing film in history directed by an African American. After the release of A Wrinkle in Time in March 2018, it was the first time the top two films at the box office were directed by black filmmakers – Coogler for Black Panther and Ava DuVernay for A Wrinkle in Time.

The film was also a critical success; Rotten Tomatoes’ critical consensus reads, “Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories—and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.” ManohlaDargisof The New York Times called Black Panther, “a jolt of a movie” and said “in its emphasis on black imagination, creation and liberation, the movie becomes an emblem of a past that was denied and a future that feels very present. And in doing so opens up its world, and yours, beautifully.”Brian Truitt of USA Today awarded the film four out of four stars and called it Marvel Studios’ best origin film since Guardians of the Galaxy. The film was also noted for its representation of black people and subject matter related to Afrofuturism.

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

Black Panther Grossed Over $1.3 Billion Worldwide

This is a poster for Black Panther. The poster art copyright is believed to belong to the distributor of the film, Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, the publisher, Marvel Studios, or the graphic artist.

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Black Panther the Movie

Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. Produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, it is the eighteenth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). The film directed by Ryan Coogler, who co-wrote the screenplay with Joe Robert Cole, and stars Chadwick Boseman as T’Challa / Black Panther, alongside Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyongo’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Letitia Wright, Winston Duke, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, and Andy Serkis. In Black Panther, T’Challa is crowned king of Wakanda following his father’s death, but his sovereignty is challenged by an adversary who plans to abandon the country’s isolationist policies and begin a global revolution. Wesley Snipes expressed interest in working on a Black Panther film in 1992, but the project did not come to fruition. In September 2005, Marvel Studios announced a Black Panther film as one of ten based on Marvel characters and distributed by Paramount Pictures. Mark Baily was hired to write a script in January 2011. Black Panther was announced in October 2014, and Boseman made his first appearance as the character in Captain America: Civil War (2016). By 2016, Cole and Coogler had joined; additional cast joined in May, making Black Panther the first Marvel film with a predominantly black cast. Principal photography took place from January to April 2017, at EUE / Screen Gems Studios in the Atlanta metropolitan area, and Busan, South Korea.

Black Panther premiered in Los Angeles on January 29, 2018 and was released theatrically in the United States on February 16, 2018, in 2D, 3D, IMAX and other premium large formats. The film received praise from critics for its direction, screenplay, acting, production and costume design, and soundtrack, though the computer-generated effects received some criticism. Critics considered it one of the best films set in the MCU and noted its cultural significance. It grossed over $1.3 billion worldwide, breaking numerous box office records including the highest-grossing film by a black director. It is the second-highest-grossing film of 2018 behind Avengers: Infinity War, andreceived numerous awards and nominations.

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

The performances of Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, and Letitia Wright (L to R) were widely praised for their character performances.

Box office

Black Panther grossed $700.1 million in the United States and Canada, and $646.8 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $1.347 billion. During its theatrical run, it became the highest-grossing solo superhero film, the third-highest-grossing film of the MCU and superhero films overall, the ninth-highest-grossing of all time, and the highest grossing film by a black director. It is the fifth MCU film and 33rd overall to surpass $1 billion, and the second-highest-grossing film of 2018. In March 2018 Deadline Hollywood estimated the net profit of the film would be $461 million, accounting for production budgets, P&A, talent participations and other costs, with box office grosses and ancillary revenues from home media. 

Critical response

The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reports an approval rating of 97% based on 393 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10. The website’s critical consensus reads, “Black Panther elevates superhero cinema to thrilling new heights while telling one of the MCU’s most absorbing stories—and introducing some of its most fully realized characters.” As of February 18, 2018, it is the best-reviewed live-action superhero film on the site, beating The Dark Knight (2008) and Iron Man (both 94%). Metacritic, which uses a weighted average, assigned a score of 88 out of 100, based on 55 critics, indicating “universal acclaim”. Audiences polled byCinemaScore gave the film an average grade of “A+” on an A+ to F scale, the second superhero film to receive that grade after Marvel’s The Avengers. Filmgoers polled by comScore’sPostTrakservice gave the film a 92% positive score and an 88% “definite recommend”, with a third of people planning to see the film again. RelishMix reported that the use of Twitter hashtags for #BlackPanther and tagging of the film’s Twitter account from those leaving the theater was the highest for a film’s opening weekend, with 559,000 unique posts in one day (100,000 posts for a film is average).

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

Cultural importance

Writing for Time, Jamil Smith felt Black Panther would prove to Hollywood that African-American films can generate profits from “all audiences”, and described it as a resistance to “a regressive cultural and political moment fueled in part by the white-nativist movement… Its themes challenge institutional bias, its characters take unsubtle digs at oppressors, and its narrative includes prismatic perspectives on black life and tradition.” Discussing the film as a defining moment for black America in The New York Times Magazine, Carvell Wallace said that in contrast to earlier black superhero films, Black Panther “is steeped very specifically and purposefully in its blackness”. He felt Wakanda would become a “promised land” for future generations of black Americans, “untroubled by the criminal horrors of our [current] American existence.”Historian Nathan D. B. Connolly said Black Panther was “a powerful fictional analogy for real-life struggles” that taps into a “500-year history of African-descended people imagining freedom, land and national autonomy.” Connolly also felt, culturally, the film would be this generation’s A Raisin in the Sun (1961). Writer and activist Shaun King found the film to be a cultural moment in American black history similar to Rosa Parks’ Montgomery bus boycott, Martin Luther King Jr.’s “ I Have a Dream” speech, or Barack Obama being elected president.

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

African and African-American representation

Dwayne Wong (Omowale) writing in HuffPost saw the film and its comic origins as addressing “serious political issues concerning Africa’s relationship to the West that is very rarely given the serious attention that it deserves”, with Wakandans portrayed as suspicious towards outsiders. He concluded that while the country is fictional, the politics “are very real. The end of colonialism did not end Western tampering in Africa’s politics”. Carlos Rosario Gonzalez of Bam! Smack! Pow! said the struggle between T’Challa and Killmonger represents the collision of “what it means to be African “and “what Africa means to Afro-minorities today”. In this view, Wakanda represents Africa without Western colonialism, and Killmonger shows us that “we can sometimes inevitably become what we seek to destroy,” concluding that Killmonger wants to use Wakanda’s resources to become a colonizer of the West while “Wakanda’s conservative ways created the very problem that sought to destroy them, Erik Killmonger”. Jelani Cobb, writing in The New Yorker, discussed the divide between Africans and African-Americans, which he called a “fundamental dissonance”. He felt T’Challa and Killmonger represented “dueling responses to five centuries of African exploitation at the hands of the West. The villain, to the extent that the term applies, is history itself”. Cobb added that Black Panther is political in a way previous MCU films were not because in those “we were at least clear about where the lines of fantasy departed from reality [while this film is set in] in an invented nation in Africa, a continent that has been grappling with invented versions of itself ever since white men first declared it the ‘dark continent’ and set about plundering its people and its resources.”

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

Accolades

Black Panther was nominated for two BET Awards (winning one), one Billboard Music Award, eight Golden Trailer Awards  (winning four),seven MTV Movie & TV Awards (winning four), fourteen Saturn Awards (winning five), and eleven Teen Choice Awards.

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

(L:R) Producer Kevin Feige, director Ryan Coogler, and actors Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, and Chadwick Boseman promoting Black Panther at the 2016 San Diego Comic-Con International, San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

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Created: 23 July 2016

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(L:R) Moderator Chris Hardwick, Feige, Coogler, and the cast of Black Panther at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con

Chris Hardwick, Kevin Feige, Ryan Coogler, Chadwick Boseman, Lupita Nyong’o, Michael B. Jordan, Danai Gurira, Letitia Wright, Forest Whitaker, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis and Winston Duke speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Black Panther”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California.

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Ryan Coogler speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International, for “Black Panther”, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, California. Please attribute to Gage Skidmore if used elsewhere.Coogler promoting Black Panther at the 2017 San Diego Comic Con International.

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Created: 22 July 2017

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Analysis of Black Panthers Cultural importance

Many have wondered why Black Panther means so much to the black community and why schools, churches and organizations have come to the theaters with so much excitement. The answer is that the movie brings a moment of positivity to a group of people often not the centerpiece of Hollywood movies. Plus, what we know from the research on racial and ethnic socialization is that it helps to strengthen identity and helps reduce the likelihood on internalizing negative stereotypes about one’s ethnic group.

—Erlanger Turner, assistant professor of Psychology at the source: (University of Houston-Downtown)

source: (en.wikipedia.org)

Chadwick Boseman speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California. 

Chadwick Aaron Boseman (born November 29, 1977 or 1976) (sources differ) is an American actor known for his portrayals of real-life historical figures such as Jackie Robinson in 42 (2013), James Brown in Get on Up (2014), and Thurgood Marshall in Marshall (2017) and has appeared as the superhero Black Panther in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Captain America: Civil War (2016), Black Panther (2018), Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and the upcoming Avengers 4 (2019). He has also had roles in the television series Lincoln Heights (2008) and Persons Unknown (2010), and the films The Express (2008), Draft Day (2014) and Message from the King (2016).

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Created: 22 July 2017

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Michael B. Jordan speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.

Michael Bakari Jordan (born February 9, 1987) is an American actor. He is known for his film roles as shooting victim Oscar Grant in the drama Fruitvale Station (2013), professional boxer Adonis Creed in the Rocky sequel film Creed (2015), and antagonist Erik Killmongerin the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero film Black Panther (2018), all three of which were directed by frequent collaborator Ryan Coogler. Jordan’s television roles include Wallace in the HBO series The Wire (2002), Reggie Montgomery in the ABC soap opera All My Children (2003–2006), and Vince Howard in the NBC drama series Friday Night Lights (2009–2011). Other film performances include Maurice “Bumps” Wilson in Red Tails (2012), Steve Montgomery in Chronicle (2012), Mikey in That Awkward Moment (2014) and the Human Torch in Fantastic Four (2015).

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Created: 22 July 2017

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Letitia Wright speaking at the 2017 San Diego Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.

Letitia Michelle Wright (born 31 October 1993) is a Guyanese-born British actress. Beginning in 2011, she has played in roles in several British TV series, including Top Boy,

Coming Up, Chasing Shadows, Humans, the Doctor Who episode “Face the Raven” and the Black Mirror episode “Black Museum” thelatter for which she received a Primetime Emmy Award nomination.  The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) named Wright among the 2015 group of BAFTA Breakthrough Brits for her role in the award-winning film Urban Hymn. Wright is best known for playing the characterShuri in the Marvel Cinematic Universe films Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War (both released in 2018).

By Gage Skidmore, CC BY-SA 3.0, source: (creativecommons.org)

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Created: 22 July 2017

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