Tag: “Creed”

Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler on How ‘Black Panther’ Makes History | Variety

Black Panther Variety Cover
CREDIT: ART STREIBER FOR VARIETY

by Ramin Satoodeh via Variety.com

Chadwick Boseman struggled to catch his breath after he was cast as Black Panther. When he first tried on his spandex suit for 2016’s “Captain America: Civil War,” it felt too restricting. “It was suffocating,” recalls Boseman. “Literally, it closed off every possibility of air getting to you. I was in it, put the mask on. I said, ‘Hey, you got to get me out of this!’” By the time he headlined his own movie, as the first black Marvel superhero with his name on the poster, Boseman was more comfortable in his re-engineered costume. “I think it begins to feel like skin after a while,” says the 41-year-old actor. “But it takes time to get to that place.”

The same can be said for Disney’s long-awaited tentpole “Black Panther,” which opens in theaters on Feb. 16. For decades, actors, directors, producers and fans have wondered why Hollywood was so slow to bring black superheroes to the big screen. It’s not that there weren’t attempts along the way. In the ’90s, Warner Bros. had originally tapped Marlon Wayans to portray Robin in a “Batman” movie, before Chris O’Donnell landed the sidekick role. Wesley Snipes starred in the vampire superhero franchise “Blade,” which spawned two sequels. In 2004, Halle Berry headlined “Catwoman,” which was ridiculed by critics and tanked at the box office. And 12 years later, Will Smith, the co-star of the juggernaut “Men in Black,” popped up in “Suicide Squad” as the under-seen assassin Deadshot.

“Black Panther,” directed by Ryan Coogler, is a movie that doubles as a movement, or at least a moment that feels groundbreaking in the same way that last year’s runaway hit “Wonder Woman” inspired millions of women. “Panther” marks the first time that a major studio has greenlit a black superhero movie with an African-American director and a primarily black cast, including Forest Whitaker, Angela Bassett, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira and Letitia Wright as Shuri, the princess of the fictional African country Wakanda.

The reality of this milestone isn’t lost on Coogler, the 31-year-old director of the Sundance darling “Fruitvale Station” and the “Rocky” sequel “Creed.” “I think progress comes in ebbs and flows,” Coogler says. “I hope things continue to open up. As more content gets made, more opportunities like ours can come about for folks. But you’ve got to put your foot on the gas when it comes to that or things can go back to where they were.”

“Black Panther” chronicles an origin story for a Marvel character who first made his debut in the comic books in 1966. On the big screen, he’s a warrior named T’Challa, who returns home to an Afro-futuristic country to inherit the throne as king. The release of the movie coincides with a crossroads in America. Racial tensions are heightened as a result of a president who continually makes reprehensible remarks about immigrants from nonwhite countries. “Black Panther” also arrives on the heels of #OscarsSoWhite, the two consecutive years (2015 and 2016) that the Motion Picture Academy failed to nominate any actors of color for awards.

Anticipation for the release of “Black Panther” is much higher than for the last outings from Batman and Thor. In May 2016, the hashtag #BlackPantherSoLIT started trending on Twitter as casting details around the movie emerged. “Panther” is poised to break box office records for February, a typically quieter time as audiences catch up on romantic comedies around Valentine’s Day. Marvel’s latest crown jewel is tracking to gross an estimated $150 million on its opening weekend. Strong business for “Black Panther,” which cost nearly $200 million to produce and roughly $150 million more to market, would send a clear message to the movie industry that certain communities are still widely underserved. While domestic ticket sales plummeted last year, the number of frequent African-American moviegoers nearly doubled to 5.6 million in 2016, according to a survey by the Motion Picture Assn. of America.

Some are paying attention. “Representation matters,” says Alan Horn, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, which owns Marvel. “It’s a powerful and important thing for people to know they are seen and to see themselves reflected in our films and the stories we tell.” Horn believes that “Black Panther” is part of a wave of change. “In terms of gender diversity, we’ve done very well,” he says, pointing to his studio’s own roster that includes “Beauty and the Beast,” “Coco” and the upcoming live-action “Mulan.” “When it comes to diversity reflecting color and ethnicity, I’d say yes, you will see more.” Continue reading “Chadwick Boseman and Ryan Coogler on How ‘Black Panther’ Makes History | Variety”

Michael B. Jordan Starring in MGM’s ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ Remake

Michael B. Jordan
Michael B. Jordan (ROB LATOUR/VARIETY/REX/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (@lakinhutcherson)

According to Variety.com, Michael B. Jordan (“Fruitvale Station”, “Creed”) is slated to star in MGM Studio’s second remake of the heist thriller “The Thomas Crown Affair.”

The reboot is in early development stages and has no producer, writer or director attached. Jordan teamed with MGM on “Creed,” which performed with a very profitable $172 million worldwide, proving Jordan’s worth as a leading man.

The original “Thomas Crown Affair,” directed by Norman Jewison, was released in 1968.  Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway starred in the film in which McQueen’s character masterminded a Boston bank robbery of $2.66 million without meeting any of the four thieves.  Director John McTiernan’s 1999 remake starred Pierce Brosnan and Rene Russo. The film was a solid hit, grossing $124 million worldwide.

Jordan, obviously younger than the two former leading men, will likely bring a fresh, contemporary energy to the role, and hopefully this elevated genre vehicle will increase his staying power at the box office.

More on this project as it develops.

“Creed” Director Ryan Coogler Named as Warner Bros. Creative Talent Ambassador in U.K.

'Creed' Director Ryan Coogler Named as
‘Creed’ Director Ryan Cooler (GREGORY PACE/BEI/SHUTTERSTOCK)

article by Leo Barraclough via Variety.com

Ryan Coogler, director and co-writer of “Creed,” has been named as the first Warner Bros. Creative Talent Ambassador in the U.K. The news comes as the studio’s Creative Talent program welcomed participants of its third season.

Coogler was supported early in his career by the Time Warner Foundation in partnership with Sundance Institute, which enabled him to develop his first feature film, “Fruitvale Station.” The film went on to win the Grand Jury Prize and the audience award at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

Coogler said: “Having experienced firsthand the support and impact of programs similar to Warner Bros. Creative Talent, it is fantastic to know that passionate young people of all backgrounds are being given the chance to follow their dreams here in the U.K. This can be a tough industry, and so we need to do what we can to bring talented young people into it.”

Josh Berger, president and managing director, Warner Bros. U.K., Ireland and Spain, said: “I am thrilled that Ryan has become an ambassador for Warner Bros. Creative Talent, as he is the perfect example of the effect that a program like this can have on one’s life and career. We’re already seeing our talented young people taking strides into the industry, just a couple of years into the program, and I can’t wait to see what season three will go on to achieve.”

Warner Bros. Creative Talent participants will receive funding and training opportunities as part of a multilayered program that includes scholarships at some of the country’s top higher-education institutions. These include three Prince William scholars in film, television and games in partnership with BAFTA; apprenticeships at Warner Bros. Studios Leavesden and Warner Bros. Television Production U.K.; trainee positions on every Warner Bros. film production in the U.K.; training-course places for young people at inclusive theater company Chickenshed; work-experience places for students at a school local to Warner Bros.’ London HQ; and work placements on the London West End musical “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.”

“Creed” Director Ryan Coogler to Deliver Prestigious University of Chicago Kent Lecture Feb. 9

Ryan Coogler
Ryan Coogler (photo via blogs.indiewire.com)

The annual Kent Lecture was established by the Organization of Black Students at the University of Chicago in 1984, and was named after the late Dr. George E. Kent, who was one of the earliest tenured African-American professors at the University of Chicago, and its first African-American professor of English.

The prestigious honor was “designed to serve as a platform for community exposure to African-American luminaries” and since its inception, speakers who have given the lecture are names you would expect, such as Cornel West, Michael Eric Dyson, Henry Louis Gates Jr., and Michelle Alexander.

This year, the OBS pulled off a real coup and got, for the first time, a film director. Not only just a film director, but the director of “Fruitvale Station” and “Creed,” Ryan Coogler himself, to give this year’s Kent Lecture.

According to OBS, Coogler will be discussing “blackness in mixed forms of media, specifically film, the importance of representation, and why stories such as these are so important to tell.” After his opening remarks, there will be a moderated Q&A with Coogler (no doubt there are going to be a lot of audience questions about the Oscars and “Black Panther”).

The event will take place at Mandel Hall at the University of Chicago campus (1175 E. 57th); starting at 7PM and yes it’s free and open to the public. But get there early to secure a seat because they will likely be going fast.

article by Sergio via blogs.indiewire.com

Michael B. Jordan Co-Authors New Comic Book Franchise “North”

"Creed" and "Fruitvale Station" star Michael B. Jordan
“Creed” and “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan (Photo: Gustavo Caballero / Getty)

Michael B. Jordan‘s first attempt at playing a superhero didn’t go over well with movie buffs. The 2015 reboot of “Fantastic Four” bombed at the box office but similar to his character in “Creed,” Jordan is a fighter! He’s now planning to star in his own superhero franchise.

Jordan and Nathan Edmonson are co-authoring the comic book, “North.” Here’s the premise of the series from The Hollywood Reporter:

“[‘North’] follows a soldier who is recruited into a top-secret paramilitary program that modifies his mind to make him a spy like no other. When an operation goes south, he is betrayed by the organizations he serves but quickly discovers he is far more dangerous than even his betrayers realize.”

While it sounds a lot like “Captain America,” Edmonson is an accomplished writer who wrote “The Punisher” and “Black Widow” for Marvel. He and Jordan met, ironically at one of Los Angeles’ top comic shops, Golden Apple, and decided to collaborate on their own comic.

The pair have already completed two issues which will be published by Dark Horse Comics in 2016. According to THR, this is the start of something big for the 28-year-old. “The duo want the comic to stand alone on its own merits, one of the goals is to craft an eventual producing vehicle for Jordan.”

article by Zon D’Amour via hellobeautiful.com

“Creed” Director Ryan Coogler to Direct “Black Panther” movie for Marvel

"Creed" Director Ryan Cooler (photo via buzzfeed.com)
“Creed” Director Ryan Cooler (photo via buzzfeed.com)

After several months of meeting with various black directors and not locking one to helm “Black Panther,” it’s finally confirmed that “Creed” director Ryan Coogler is in negotiations to direct the action film for Marvel and Disney, TheWrap reports.

The studio has been desperate to lock a black director, and had considered Ava Duvernay and F. Gary Gray for the project. Marvel and Coogler had discussed the movie in the past, but both sides cooled on the negotiations until recently resuming talks.

EUR previously reported on Coogler’s comments regarding why the race of the director is important on projects such as “Black Panther.” He explained ScreenRant, ”Yeah, I think it’s important. Perspective is so important in art. That’s not to say that you can’t work outside yourself.”

Since the critically acclaimed success of Coogler’s tragic drama “Fruitvale Station,” he has had his pick of projects, including the “Rocky” franchise, casting his “Fruitvale” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed. The Oscar-buzzed film grossed nearly $30 million its opening weekend.

When asked during a recent interview how important it was “to build a central narrative of a black boxer in a film that doesn’t directly address race,” Ryan responded:

“It was very important. When I would watch “Rocky” films, Apollo was the guy that I identified with as a young black man, because I grew up as an athlete for most of my life. With boxing, we have a long history of the greatest American fighters and so many of them are black and Hispanic but you don’t see that representation in cinema so I was really excited.”

Chadwick Boseman is set to star as T’Challa, the superhero in charge of a fictional African nation called Wakanda. The character will first be introduced in “Captain America: Civil War.”

“Creed” is currently playing in theaters across the country.  “Black Panther” is scheduled to be released Nov. 3, 2017.

article by Ny MaGee via eurweb.com

“Creed” a Massive Box Office Success in Philadelphia; Rakes in $42.6M Overall

Creed Box Office
“Creed” stars Sylvester Stallone and Michael B. Jordan (COURTESY OF WARNER BROS.)

Rocky Balboa is so synonymous with Philadelphia that the “City of Brotherly Love” erected a statue to memorialize the steps that the fictional boxer bounds up as part of his iconic training routine.

Well, actually the statue, with its portrait of the pugilist flinging his hands triumphantly in the air, was created for a scene in “Rocky III” and donated to Philadelphia by Sylvester Stallone, but at this point it has become such a symbol of the city’s working class spirit that its origins are almost superfluous.

That close bond between city and subject played out at the box office this weekend with the debut of “Creed,” which finds Balboa coaching the illegitimate son (Michael B. Jordan) of his former nemesis Apollo Creed. The picture, which took in an outstanding $42.6 million over its first five days in theaters, is over-indexing in Philadelphia by a massive 72%.

“Philadelphia is on fire and it has been since opening day,” said Jeff Goldstein, a distribution executive vice president at Warner Bros., the studio that is distributing the film.

Two of the top five best-performing theaters, AMC Neshaminy and the AMC Cherry Hill, are from the Philadelphia area. Another local theater, Regal Riverview Plaza, cracked the top ten list of highest-grossing theaters. On most films, those lists are dominated by locations in New York and Los Angeles, Goldstein said.

“Creed” is doing well in those cities and is also performing strongly in major metropolitan areas like Chicago, Atlanta and Houston, playing particularly well in communities with large Hispanic and African-American presences.

It’s not uncommon for films to do well in the places where they are set. For instance, both “Spotlight” and “Black Mass,” two fall releases that play up their Boston backdrops, did very well in the city when they debuted.

In the case of “Creed,” Philadelphia is almost a supporting character. The film recreates that run up the steps, features local landmarks such as South Philly’s Italian Market and plays up the fictional Balboa’s status as a hometown hero.

“Philadelphia is a part of all of the film’s DNA, so it makes sense it would play well there,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst with Rentrak. “When the heart of the movie is a certain geographical location, it usually does well there.”

article by Brent Lang via Variety.com

Michael B. Jordan in Just-Released “Creed” Trailer Proves “Rocky” Sequel Has Punch

This is two minutes and forty three seconds of just pure sublime. It’s Ryan Coogler’s Creed, the MGM/New Line film that Warner Bros will release this fall. This isn’t just another installment of Rocky. After Coogler and Michael B. Jordan teamed on the Sundance sensation Fruitvale Stationeach of these young guys had their pick of projects. Coogler used his currency on his dream to make Creed. Turns out that while he was growing up, Coogler’s father showed him the Rocky movies to instill the notion of heroes and the idea that dreams can come true with hard work.

Rocky-CreedAs he became an accomplished wide receiver at Sacramento State and a budding filmmaker, Coogler’s father later came down with ALS. All of the touchstones of his life are rolled into this movie and it required him to win the trust of Sylvester Stallone, who was very protective over his first and most memorable character creation. When the movie became a reality, there was no one else he wanted to play the role of Apollo Creed’s son (it started out as grandson, but that evolved).

It is becoming a right of passage for actors to play ring heroes, and, just like Jake Gyllenhaal in Southpaw, Miles Teller in Bleed for This and Edgar Ramirez in Hands Of Stone, Jordan accepted the challenge and got himself into rocking gym shape. The film follows the late Apollo Creed’s son Adonis Johnson stepping into the boxing ring, a profession which killed his father in Rocky IV when he battled Russian fighter Drago. “Your Daddy died in the ring,” a trainer reminds the young Creed who retorts, “That got nothin’ to do with me.” Adonis turns to Rocky Balboa to train him. At this point, The Italian Stallion has completely checked out of the boxing game.

Best part in the trailer that will raise hairs, is when the young Creed meets Rocky:

“I heard about a third fight between you and Apollo behind close doors, is that true?,” asks the fighter.

“How do you know all this?” asks Rocky.

Declares Johnson: “I’m his son.”

article by Anthony D’Alassandro via deadline.com

“Fruitvale Station” Team Considering “Rocky” Spin-Off “Creed” with MGM

‘Fruitvale Station’ Team Eyeing ‘Rocky’ Spin-Off ‘Creed’ With MGM
“Fruitvale Station” Director Ryan Coogler and Actor Michael B. Jordan (Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)

After over-performing at the box office in the past two weekends and receiving stellar reviews since its premiere at Sundance, Fruitvale Station director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan may now be looking to move into the boxing ring for their next project.  MGM has set Coogler to direct, and is in early talks with Jordan to star in, Creed, the latest installment in the Rocky franchise that would focus on Apollo Creed’s grandson.

Sylvester Stallone is on board to reprise his role as Rocky Balboa, with Coogler penning the script along with Aaron Covington. Deadline Hollywood broke the news.  

The story would follow Creed’s grandson, who has grown up reaping the spoils of all his grandfather’s winnings and is forbidden by his family to enter the world of boxing. Against his family’s wishes, he is drawn to boxing and seeks out Balboa to teach him how to fight and follow in his grandfather’s footsteps.  Irwin Winkler and Robert Chartoff, who produced the original film, will produce with Stallone and Kevin King.

article by Justin Kroll via Variety.com

The Good Things Black People Do, Give and Receive All Over The World
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