Published: Tue, March 13, 2018
Sci-tech | By Brandy Patterson

Ryan Coogler pens tribute to one of his heroes Ava DuVernay

Ryan Coogler pens tribute to one of his heroes Ava DuVernay

"Black Panther" kept its record-setting grip on the North American box office over the weekend, easily defeating a challenge from fellow Disney release "A Wrinkle in Time", industry figures showed Monday.

During my interview with Storm Reid, we talked about what it was like being back at her old elementary school, how she got involved with A Wrinkle in Time, working on a blockbuster feature with director Ava DuVernay, the advice she has for aspiring young actors, and much more. The two have known each other since 2013, but Coogler maintains that it feels a lot longer than that, and as previously noted, he calls DuVernay his big sister.

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Black Panther, however, has swiftly become the highest-grossing film of the year both in the United States and internationally, outstripping its nearest rival, Fifty Shades Freed, by a multiple of five. She made a show called "Queen Sugar" and mandated the use of female directors and key creatives a full two years before the great Frances McDormand shared with the world what an inclusion rider was.

Director Ava DuVernay became the first black woman to helm a movie with a budget in excess of $100 million. "She was already one of my heroes, and that was before she took one of the most sought-after scripts in Hollywood and turned it into the best film about Dr. Martin Luther King that anyone will ever make", he wrote. For ESPN, he wrote, "Ava is a pioneer".

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But above all, it's a film about a little black girl with glasses - like my mom, like my wife, like my big sister Ava - who refuses to accept that her dad is lost.

Ava opened A Wrinkle in Time in the United States yesterday, and Ryan penned an "ode" to the director of the film starring Oprah Winfrey, calling her a "pioneer" for "inclusion, equity and representation".

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Now it looks like the overall weekend will be a photo finish: Wrinkle In Time's estimates are at around $40 million - with Black Panther thought to be cruising towards $37 million.

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