Yesterday, Ryan Coogler held a special screening of his latest film, Creed, at The Grand Lake Theatre, returning to his hometown of Oakland to share his latest work with his friends and family.
Before starting the film, Coogler stood in front of the audience and delivered a heartfelt speech, thanking his friends and family for coming and showing support. He then recounted a story about his childhood, when his dad snuck him into the Grand Lake Theatre. The movie was Boys in the Hood, and as a child, he was so affected by the film that he cried when Ricky was shot. Coogler credits these fond memories for inspiring his early love for cinema and storytelling. Coogler also noted that Creed was largely inspired by his relationship with his father.
After directing a string of critically acclaimed short films as a student at USC, Coogler released the indie-hit Fruitvale Station, which chronicled the tragic final day leading up to Oscar Grant’s death. Now with Creed, Coogler is moving into the world of big budget films, with famous actors and national distribution.
Coolger also pays homage to The Town by including a cool cameo from an Oakland boxing legend, and sprinkles in Oakland sports references, like little Easter Eggs for those paying close attention.
At the age of 29, Coogler is a rising star in the industry and one of the most exciting new voices in filmmaking. His hard work and talent are paying off, and as his success continues, we, along with the rest of Oakland, will be right behind him, cheering him on.
Creed hits theaters on November 25th, and stars Michael B. Jordan, Sylvester Stallone, and Tessa Thompson. For more information, visit creedthemovie.com.
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