In a profile for Vulture, director Ryan Coogler and actor Michael B. Jordan spoke about their working collaboration so far. The two have worked together since 2013, beginning with Coogler’s first project, Fruitvale Station where Jordan portrayed Oscar Grant, a San Fransisco Bay-area young man gunned down on the BART transit system. The film made the two stars on the independent film circuit and inadvertently earned them more high-profile jobs.
Jordan went on to star in the most recent Fantastic Four film, which did poorly in the box office and was also a critical failure. However, last year ended on a high note when the two reunited for Creed, the new installment of the Rocky franchise that focuses on Apollo Creed’s son Adonis. With just two films under his belt, Coogler seems invincible. Jordan’s best performances came while working with Coogler, and the two realize that they need each other to survive in Hollywood.
“You got to tell stories in today, or in the future,” says Jordan. “Or can we go back even further? There’s always one period that people want to go back to, but can we go back to Hannibal? Or Mansa Musa, destroying economies as he traveled? Can we go back to the Egyptians?”
Jordan is excited about the possibility of telling epic stories with Coogler. It would be a much-needed blast of diversity for Hollywood if the adventurous tales of Hannibal were on the silver screen.
For now, we have to wait for the next best thing: Black Panther. The film may postpone the Jordan/Coogler collaboration for a short while, but it hints at the possibility that Hollywood is ready for epic movies with Black folks in front of and behind the camera.
Coogler concludes the profile with this:
“I used to get crushed when I was younger and would watch movies about young people. And I’d be like, No — that’s not us. Or reading articles about the millennial generation — people making general statements about us. Again, no. Wrong. Just hire us, bruh. Hire me and let me work.”
Don’t worry; Hollywood will if they know what is smart.