Ryan Coogler leaving the weekend like…
As many of us know Marvel’s newest movie, The Black Panther, was a hit. Fans all over the country bought out movie theaters for its opening weekend. They entered with excitement and left with an obsession for the mystical world of Wakanda. We have Ryan Coogler to thank for the epic depiction of powerful black characters and culture displayed in the film.
At just 31-years-old, Coogler has accomplished being a notable director and screenwriter. His first big break was the release of the biographical drama, Fruitvale Station. Fruitvale is a movie starring Michael B. Jordan playing a young man and the events leading up to his death in 2009 at the Fruitvale Station. Another film Coogler directed was Creed, starring Michael B. Jordan once again. This sports drama follows a young man, unknowingly the son of a famous boxer, training to go pro. But before he was selling out theaters, Coogler was a normal student just like us. Ryan Kyle Coogler was born May 23, 1986, in Oakland, California. According to Filmmaker Magazine, Coogler was on a football scholarship to Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California. He remembers the first time he realized he wanted to make movies when he took a creative writing course. He was given an assignment to write about a personal experience and decided to write about his father’s close call to death in his own arms. After handing the assignment in, his teacher suggested that he become a screenwriter.
Originally, Coogler’s plans consisted of “play ball, become a doctor and be a positive influence in my community.” Coogler tells Filmmaker Magazine he thought she was crazy. Saint Mary’s went on to cancel their football program and Coogler transferred to Sacramento State with yet another scholarship. He continued to take on even more film classes and by the end of graduation, he was left with two choices. Play wide receiver or go to film school. He took the risk and drove to LA. For his first semester, he lived out of his car. Since then, he has received his masters from University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts.
Out of the many films he has written, Coogler tells FMM that Fruitvale is the dearest to his heart. Partnering with Forrest Whitaker, who agreed to produce and develop the film, it succeeded tremendously. He even had the opportunity to cast his brother, Keenan Coogler in the movie. It was a true story of Oscar Grant, a young man who was shot in the back by a police officer. The riots and frustration didn’t have any effect. “If I can get two hours of people’s time, I can affect them more than if they threw a trash can through a window,” Coogler said.