Coogler and Jordan – Hollywood’s Future

Ryan Coogler is a young African American director who made his name with the critically acclaimed Fruitvale Station. From there, his next project was challenging – reviving the Rocky franchise.

Coogler took it on and the movie gave Sylvester Stallone an Oscar nomination. Coogler’s next movie is the highly anticipated Black Panther which is already breaking records, most notably as the Marvel movie to sell out its pre-sold tickets in the shortest space of time. Third time’s the charm?

Michael B Jordan was a child actor with the biggest title to his name being The Wire followed by a more pronounced role in Friday Night Lights and features on various TV shows. Jordan took his talents to the big screen and worked with Coogler on Fruitvale Station where he made his presence known as the future of Hollywood.

He was highly sought after and an yet another opportunity to work with Coogler, which he took with open arms and Creed was born. Now that Coogler is helming Black Panther, Jordan did not hesitate to team up with the director once more.

What does Black Panther mean for Hollywood?

The iconic African superhero is having a solo movie in a time where racial tension continues to plague the world and the politics behind racism are more open than before. The Black Panther may not be the first African American president but he is the continuation of something great.

Michael B. Jordan as Erik Killmonger in Black Panther

Actors like Samuel L Jackson and Denzel Washington have headlined timeless classics with great African American directors but none of them have been involved in a project like this. A project that grows in popularity with each new announcement.

Not only will Black Panther pave the way for more African American projects but it will allow for these projects to have an entry in the box office royal rumble. And the cast is dominated by top African American actors  and actresses. Unfortunately Washington and Halle Berry could not make the cut. Black Panther 2 though? Who knows.

Ryan Coogler ‘s first big budget movie. How will he fair?

Looking at his filmography, this is something that is unknown to him – Disney’s corporate card. But like all new employees, he will hit the ground running and make the most of the corporate resources that the gig comes with. Each cent will be well spent.

The trailers have been well received, social media is buzzing and even the actors are excited for the movie to be released. I’m confident that Coogler will bring the swagger Black Panther needs and we know that he’s able to capture heart and human emotions really well, which he proved with Fruitvale Station and Creed.

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Coogler & Jordan in Fruitvale Station (2013)

He’s able to make audiences relate to the character and walk in their shoes. Their heart beats are in tune with ours and we feel the depth of the character; something Marvel Studios has failed to do in majority of its movies to date. Will Coogler be the answer to Marvel’s inability to depict more than two emotions?

Michael B Jordan takes another crack at the superhero genre but as a villain. Is he dark enough?

Throughout Jordan’s career he has taken on roles that faced conflict, darkness and tragedy. Most notably in Friday Night Lights, he was a high school football player without a father, his mother was addicted to drugs, and he had anger issues.

In Fruitvale Station Jordan had to be a father, a son and a breadwinner in an environment that was designed for him to fail. Another notable case study is in Creed where he grew up without a father and he had to deal with the fact that he was a bastard.

Creed - Ryan Coogler and Michael B Jordan BTS
Coogler & Jordan in Creed (2015)

Should he channel all the roles in his career, he may be the villain Marvel Studios has been waiting for. Unfortunately for him, Marvel has failed to depict a good enough villain and from the few seconds Jordan had in the trailer, one can’t really speculate whether or not his performance will carry weight or if he’ll be just another prop in a big budget film. Only time will tell, and I have more questions than answers right now.

Coogler and Jordan team up again. Should Hollywood start taking notice?

From a puff piece to a front page headline, Coogler and Jordan are showing Hollywood its future. The two have done nothing but critically acclaimed work and Black Panther is an opportunity for them to do the 3-peat. However, expectations need to be managed and people need to realise that this is a popcorn movie.

Black Panther will be entertaining as Marvel Studios have a “strongly recommended” way of doing their movies (Ava DuVernay left the project due to “creative differences”). This project is an opportunity for Hollywood to see how the Phil Jackson and Michael Jordan of Hollywood handle themselves with a big budget.

Should this be a success, Hollywood cannot contain them any longer. Coogler and Jordan should work on any project and unleash their creativity.

Will Coogler and Jordan need a trophy room or a trophy cabinet?

Trophy cabinet for now, however they’ll rake in the awards over time. They are very young and have at least 40 years to go.

They have a lot of time to perfect their craft and get the awards they deserve. They are only getting better in their respective fields; they have time.

Hypothetical – who or what should they work on next?

For Coogler, it would be interesting to see him work with an A-list actor or actress since Coogler has already proven that he’s capable of working with young and upcoming actors and actresses.

He took the challenge of directing Stallone who got an Oscar nomination so Coogler can handle big names. Should he work with an A-list actor or actress, he will be a strong contender for an Oscar nomination down the line.

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Michael B Jordan is expanding his abilities and can easily fit into any project. Coogler brought out the best in Jordan and for the actor to get an Oscar nomination, he may need a more established director. However, Jordan is funny and a comedy should be something he could consider too.

Jordan tends to work with people twice meaning Jordan and Tessa Thompson may work together again. Or to spice things up, Jordan should work alongside Issa Rae in a Christmas themed romantic comedy.

Hollywood should invest in Coogler and Jordan as well as look out for other great talent like these two. Black Panther has the potential to be the top movie of 2018, what Wonder Woman was for 2017. However, expectations need to be managed. Marvel Studios is notorious for lacking depth in their movies.

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Tendai

I’m a massive fan of movies, and occasionally I write about the movies I have watched and about the industry. Hopefully I provide insight and shed light into Hollywood. I am happy to have discussions about movies as they are extremely important to our society. 2hrs of our lives cannot be wasted by really poor movies.

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