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Ryan Coogler is making moves in TV. The young writer-director behind the acclaimed pics Creed and Fruitvale Station is teaming up with Charles D. King’s Macro on a new drama to be shopped to networks and other TV vehicles.
A big move for King’s new diversity-targeted media company, Minors finds Coogler partnering with Short Term 12‘s Destin Daniel Cretton and acclaimed poet/playwright Chinaka Hodge. The latter is writing, with Coogler and Cretton serving as series directors.
Minors draws on the personal experiences of the creative trio, based on Cretton’s work in residential foster care; Coogler’s Oakland, CA, upbringing and time working in a juvenile detention facility; and Hodge’s efforts as a teacher working with underserved youth. The drama hopes to take a unique approach in tackling institutionalization, focusing on the children who grow up in the system — with the structure of the show documenting how the facilities influence and shape the kids over the span of a year.
It’s been just over a year since King left behind his partner status at William Morris Endeavor to produce film and television projects targeting African-American, Latino and multicultural audiences. Minors‘ three creators are evidence that the push for diversity is just as aggressive behind the camera, and the project comes at a time of cultural crossroads in the industry.
In a year where the film business has gotten flack for its glaring absence of diversity — Coogler’s lack of Oscar attention for Creed was among the many public gripes when the Academy released its 2016 nominees — Minors brings more momentum to a TV landscape that’s been praised for keeping slightly ahead of the curve. Series such as Empire, Power, Black-ish, Fresh Off the Boat and Survivor’s Remorse have proven to be something of a referendum over the last few seasons, showcasing that critical favor and commercial success are just as possible for series boasting diversity on- and off-camera.
All three creators will serve as executive producers alongside King, Macro production president Kim Roth and production senior vp Poppy Hanks. Asher Goldstein will serve as co-exec producer.
Coogler’s profile has been on the rise for some time, and his dance card already includes Marvel Studios feature and Chadwick Boseman vehicle Black Panther, which is on track for a summer 2018 release. Cretton, who wrote and directed the films Short Term 12 and I Am Not a Hipster, is next set to direct the adaptation of Jeannette Walls’ memoir The Glass Castle. Hodge’s previous TV credits include work as an associate producer on HBO’s Brave New Voices and an appearance on the network’s Poetry. She is a founding member of Blackout for Human Rights.
Coogler, Cretton and Hodge are all repped by WME, with Coogler also repped by attorney Jonathan Gardner of Cohen & Gardner and Cretton by Chad Christopher of Stone Meyer.
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