#workinprogress: Ryan Coogler’s rapid rise on the Hollywood ladder

05. July 2017

After presenting his indie hit FRUITVALE STATION in competition at the ZFF four years ago, Coogler now takes the director’s chair for Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER.

Despite garnering numerous awards for the short films he made between 2009 and 2011, Coogler was still forced to complete his feature film debut FRUITVALE STATION on a miserly $ 900’000 budget. The production, based on the true story of African-American Oscar Grant, who was shot by police on New Year’s Eve, was not only completed, but went on to become a global success – and not just because of its tragic and highly topical content.

Ryan Coogler presents FRUITVALE STATION at ZFF

The recognition Coogler gained through FRUITVALE STATION enabled him to realise his next project with returning actor Michael B. Jordan: the studio-based boxing drama and ROCKY spin-off CREED. This film also went on to surpass all box office expectations and attracted a great deal of media attention, which was in no small part due to Coogler’s continuing search for artisanal perfection, positive critiques and last year’s #OscarsSoWhite debate: the fact that neither Michael B. Jordan nor any other film worker of colour had been nominated for an Academy Award was met with indignation and incomprehension.

Boasting a nine-figure budget, Coogler is currently working on the Disney production of Marvel’s BLACK PANTHER – a Hollywood benchmark film that features the first ever black superhero protagonist and a project he says he will not leave entirely in the hands of the studio. In his interview with FastCompany, Coogler also said: „This will be my most personal film to date, it sounds crazy, but it’s true.”

 

Further links

FRUITVALE STATION in the ZFF archives

Interview with Coogler at the ZFF

Sylvester Stallone calls for changes at the Academy


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