Coogler at San Diego Comic Con in 2016
Ryan Kyle Coogler|
May 23, 1986
Oakland, California, U.S.
|Alma mater||California State University, Sacramento, USC School of Cinematic Arts|
|Occupation||Film director, producer, screenwriter|
|Spouse(s)||Zinzi Evans (m. 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 Time's 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 actor Michael B. Jordan, who has appeared in all of his feature films, as well as composer Ludwig Göransson, 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 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.
While at USC Film School, Coogler directed four short films, three of which won or were nominated for various awards: Locks (2009), which screened at the Tribeca Film Festival and won the Dana and Albert Broccoli Award for Filmmaking Excellence; Fig (2011), which was written by his classmate, Alex George Pickering, and won the HBO Short Film Competition at the American Black Film Festival and the DGA Student Film Award and was nominated for Outstanding Independent Short Film at the Black Reel Awards; and Gap (2011), which won the Jack Nicholson Award for Achievement in Directing, and had a screenplay written by Carol S. Lashof.
Coogler's first feature-length film, Fruitvale Station (originally titled Fruitvale), tells the story of the last 24 hours of the life of Oscar Grant, who was shot to death by a police officer at Oakland's Fruitvale BART station on January 1, 2009. The film was developed and produced by Oscar-winning actor Forest Whitaker. "I've worked with a number of truly unique voices, true auteurs," Whitaker said of Coogler, "and I can tell when I'm talking to one."
After the film premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the top audience and grand jury awards in the U.S. dramatic competition, The Weinstein Company acquired the distribution rights for approximately US$2 million. The film was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival, where it won the award for Best First Film.
Following its release, the film won numerous awards and critical acclaim, including Best First Feature from the Independent Spirit Awards, Breakthrough Director at the Gotham Awards, Best Directorial Debut from the National Board of Review, and Best First Film at the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, among others. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called the film "a gut punch of a movie" and "an unstoppable cinematic force". A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that Coogler's "hand-held shooting style evokes the spiritually alert naturalism of Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne". Todd McCarthy of The Hollywood Reporter called it "a compelling debut" and "a powerful dramatic feature film".
Fruitvale Station grossed over $17 million worldwide after its theatrical run. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a score of 94% based on 195 reviews, with a critical consensus that reads, "Passionate and powerfully acted, Fruitvale Station serves as a celebration of life, a condemnation of death, and a triumph for star Michael B. Jordan." The film appeared on several critics' top ten lists of the best films of 2013.
Coogler arrived at the idea after witnessing his father suffer from a neuromuscular disorder; his father was a huge fan of the Rocky films, having made Coogler watch Rocky II before major sporting events that he would participate in, such as important football games. Creed, which was released on November 25, 2015 in the United States, reunited Coogler with Michael B. Jordan, who played Apollo Creed's son Adonis. The film was praised across the board by critics.
For the film, Coogler won the New Generation Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics Association and a Best Director award from the African-American Film Critics Association. The film's star Michael B. Jordan received an award at the African-American Film Critics Association ceremony for Breakout Performance. Tessa Thompson also won at the ceremony receiving the Best Supporting Actress award. Sylvester Stallone won the Best Supporting Actor award at the Golden Globes for his role in the film. Creed has also won one of the "Best or Top 10 Films of the Year" awards from the National Board of Review, the Boston Online Film Critics Association and the African-American Film Critics Association.
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 of Coogler'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." Manohla Dargis of 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.
Other works and future projects
Coogler served as an executive producer on the ESPN 30 for 30 film The Day the Series Stopped, about Game Three of the 1989 World Series between the San Francisco Giants and the Oakland Athletics, when an earthquake shook the Bay Area to its core.
In January 2013, Coogler said he was working on a graphic novel and a young adult novel about undisclosed subject matter.
Coogler is also a founding member and supporter of the Blackout For Human Rights campaign, which is committed to addressing racial and human rights violations happening throughout the United States.
|2009||Locks||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film, also Actor and Sound Editor|
|2009||On the Grind||No||No||Yes||Documentary short film, Camera Operator|
|2010||Get Some||No||No||Yes||Short film, Boom Operator, Sound Editor and Sound Mixer|
|The Sculptor||Yes||Yes||No||Short film|
|2012||It's Just Art, Baby||No||No||Yes||Short film, Camera Operator and Grip|
Awards and nominations
|2013||Austin Film Critics Association||Best First Film||Fruitvale Station||Won|
|Boston Online Film Critics Association||Best New Filmmaker||Won|
|Cannes Film Festival||Prix de l'Avenir d'Un Certain Regard||Won|
|Grand Prix d'Un Certain Regard||Nominated|
|Chicago Film Critics Association||Most Promising Filmmaker||Nominated|
|Detroit Film Critics Society||Best Breakthrough||Nominated|
|Gotham Awards||Bingham Ray Breakthrough Director Award||Won|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Breakout Filmmaker of the Year||Won|
|Nantucket Film Festival||Vimeo Award for Best Writer/Director||Won|
|National Board of Review||Best Directorial Debut||Won|
|New York Film Critics Online||Best Debut Director||Won|
|Phoenix Film Critics Society||Breakthrough Performance Behind the Camera||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||Marlon Riggs Award||Won|
|Sundance Film Festival||Audience Award: U.S. Dramatic||Won|
|Grand Jury Prize: U.S. Dramatic||Won|
|2014||Black Reel Awards||Outstanding Director||Nominated|
|Outstanding Screenplay, Adapted or Original||Nominated|
|Central Ohio Film Critics||Breakthrough Film Artist||Nominated|
|Independent Spirit Awards||Best First Feature||Won|
|NAACP Image Awards||Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||Honorary Satellite Award||Won|
|2015||African-American Film Critics Association||Best Director||Creed||Nominated|
|Indiana Film Journalists Association||Best Director||Nominated|
|Las Vegas Film Critics Society||Best Director||Nominated|
|Los Angeles Film Critics Association||New Generation Award||Won|
|NAACP Image Award||Outstanding Directing in a Motion Picture||Won|
|Outstanding Writing in a Motion Picture||Won|
|New York Film Critics Online||Best Director||Nominated|
|2016||Empire Awards||Best Director||Nominated|
|2018||44th Saturn Awards||Best Director||Black Panther||Won|
|Best Writing (with Joe Robert Cole)||Nominated|
- "Ryan Kyle Coogler, Born 05/23/1986 in California". California Births Index. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Thompson, Anne (2013-01-27). "Sundance Awards: Both Ryan Coogler Drama 'Fruitvale,' Doc 'Blood Brother' Nab Grand Jury and Audience Awards UPDATED". Indiewire. Retrieved 2016-06-02.
- Malinjod, Eugénie. "Black Panther, a socio-political Marvel". FESTIVAL DE CANNES. French Association of the International Film Festival. Retrieved 15 May 2018.
- Kohn, Eric (2018-02-16). "Ryan Coogler is the New Steven Spielberg: 'Black Panther' Cements the Rise of Hollywood's Commercial Auteur". IndieWire. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- Begley, Sarah (December 5, 2013). "These Are the 30 People Under 30 Changing the World Read more: Michael B. Jordan and Ryan Coogler". Time. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Joseph, Peniel E. (2018-02-16). "Perspective | 'Black Panther' is a milestone in African Americans' search for home". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
- "'Black Panther's Ryan Coogler Might Soon Be Our Greatest Working American Director". Complex. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
- "The Ascent of 'Black Panther' Director Ryan Coogler". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-18.
- Newhouse, Dave (December 17, 2007). "Filmmaker avoids tragic life plotline". Inside Bay Area. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Goodman, Amy (January 25, 2013). "Fruitvale: Ryan Coogler's Debut Film on Bay Area Police Slaying of Oscar Grant the Buzz of Sundance". Democracy Now. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Grady, Pam (July 7, 2013). "Ryan Coogler and the 'Fruitvale Station' effect". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Ryan Coogler". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved 9 January 2018.
- Zakarin, Jordan. "The Unbelievable Story Of Ryan Coogler, Who Made The Most Important Movie Of The Year". BuzzFeed Entertainment. Retrieved January 24, 2015.
- Morrison, Pat (January 19, 2013). "'Fruitvale Station's' Ryan Coogler, the message maker". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "The Unbelievable Story Of Ryan Coogler, Who Made The Most Important Movie Of The Year".
- Pashelka, Curtis, and Stiglich, Joe (March 4, 2004). "End of SMC football saddens prep coaches". Contra Costa Times. Archived from the original on August 12, 2004. Retrieved April 18, 2017.
- "25 ESPN.cpm: Ryan Coogler Stats". ESPN.com. Retrieved February 28, 2015.
- "25 New Faces of Independent Film: Ryan Coogler". Filmmaker Magazine. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- Rhodes, Joe (June 30, 2013). "A Man's Death, a Career's Birth". The New York Times. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- Fleming, Mike (January 21, 2013). "Sundance: The Weinstein Company Acquires 'Fruitvale'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- Makinen, Julie (January 26, 2013). "Sundance 2013: 'Fruitvale' wins Grand Jury Prize". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 27, 2013.
- "2013 Official Selection". Cannes. April 18, 2013. Retrieved April 18, 2013.
- "Cannes: 'The Missing Picture' Wins Un Certain Regard Prize". Hollywood Reporter. May 26, 2013. Retrieved May 26, 2013.
- Jordan, Michael B.; Diaz, Melonie; Spencer, Octavia; Durand, Kevin (2013-07-26), Fruitvale Station, retrieved 2017-01-23
- "Fruitvale Station". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- Scott, A. O. (2013-07-11). "'Fruitvale Station' Is Based on the Story of Oscar Grant III". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-02-17.
- McCarthy, Todd (January 20, 2013). "Fruitvale: Sundance Review". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved January 31, 2013.
- "Fruitvale Station (2013) – Box Office Mojo". www.boxofficemojo.com. Retrieved 2017-01-23.
- Fruitvale Station, retrieved 2017-01-23
- Dietz, Jason. "2013 Film Critic Top Ten Lists". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Archived from the original on January 2, 2014. Retrieved December 25, 2013.
- Kroll, Justin (July 24, 2013). "'Fruitvale Station' Team Eyeing 'Rocky' Spin-Off 'Creed' With MGM". Variety. Retrieved June 30, 2015.
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.
- Buckley, Cara (October 28, 2015). "Michael B. Jordan Gives Millennials Their 'Rocky' With 'Creed'". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 29, 2015.
- Fleming, Mike (July 24, 2013). "'Fruitvale Station' Duo Ryan Coogler And Michael B. Jordan Team With Sly Stallone On MGM 'Rocky' Spinoff 'Creed'". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved July 24, 2013.
- Josh Rottenberg (November 24, 2015). "Getting the 'Rocky' spinoff 'Creed' made was a real underdog story for director Ryan Coogler". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved November 25, 2015.
- "LA Film Critics Awards: 'Creed' Director Ryan Coogler "Challenges" Group on Diversity". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- Anderson, Tre'vell. "Ryan Coogler, Reginald Hudlin, John Singleton honored by African American film critics". latimes.com. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- Creed, retrieved 2018-02-27
- Mark Strom, "Ryan Coogler to direct Marvel's 'Black Panther'", Marvel, January 11, 2016.
- Foutch, Haleigh (April 11, 2016). "'Black Panther': Kevin Feige Reveals Ryan Coogler Is Co-Writing; Talks Filming Dates". Collider.
- Connley, Courtney (2018-02-23). "How 'Black Panther' director Ryan Coogler went from living in his car to becoming Marvel's youngest filmmaker". CNBC. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- Strom, Marc (January 26, 2017). "Marvel Studios Begins Production On 'Black Panther'". Marvel.com. Archived from the original on January 26, 2017. Retrieved January 26, 2017.
- "Michael B. Jordan Joins Marvel's 'Black Panther' (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 2017-10-19.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 17, 2018). "'Black Panther' Poised To Slash 'Avengers: Age Of Ultron' 4-Day Haul With $213M". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Thompson, Sonia. "'Black Panther' Has Fifth Largest Opening of All Time with More Than $192 Million. Why That Matters, Even If You're Not in the Movie Business". Inc. Retrieved February 18, 2018.
- D'Alessandro, Anthony (2018-02-21). "'Black Panther' Goes Wild: At $242M Superhero Owns 2nd Best 4-Day Opening & Defeats 'Last Jedi' – Update". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 2018-02-27.
- Turner-Lee, Nicol (2018-02-26). "Black Panther: Lessons in Hollywood diversity and black pride". Brookings. Retrieved 2018-03-02.
- Alexander, Princess-India (2018-03-12). "Ryan Coogler Praises Ava DuVernay For Making 'The Impossible Look Easy'". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- "Black Panther (2018)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved February 17, 2018.
- Dargis, Manohla (February 6, 2018). "Review: 'Black Panther' Shakes Up Marvel With Flair and Feeling". The New York Times. Archived from the original on February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Truitt, Brian (February 6, 2018). "Review: Rousing, representative 'Black Panther' is one spectacular superhero". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 6, 2018. Retrieved February 6, 2018.
- Wallace, Carvell (February 12, 2018). "Why 'Black Panther' Is a Defining Moment for Black America". The New York Times Magazine. Archived from the original on February 13, 2018. Retrieved February 12, 2018.
- Labrecque, Jeff (January 26, 2013). "Sundance 2013: 'Fruitvale' director Ryan Coogler on the life and death of Oscar Grant". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- Dockterman, Eliana (27 November 2015). "Creed Director Ryan Coogler on His Chemistry With Michael B. Jordan". Time. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
- "15 Things You Didn't Know About 'Fruitvale' Director Ryan Coogler & Tyree Black". Colorlines.com. ARC. Retrieved June 30, 2013.
- "MLK Now | Campaign for Black Male Achievement". Campaign for Black Male Achievement. Campaign for Black Male Achievement. 2018-03-12. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- "How "Creed" Auteur Ryan Coogler Punches Through The Hollywood Mold". Fast Company. 2016-05-16. Retrieved 2018-03-13.
- Deeeahn (June 6, 2013). "EVENT PICS: 'FRUITVALE' CAST ATTENDS 3RD ANNUAL 'CELEBRATE SUNDANCE INSTITUTE' IN LA". ConcreteLoop.com. Retrieved July 20, 2013.
- "Ryan Coogler Can't Wait To Have Daughters With His Wife Zinzi For A Very Adorable Reason".