‘Creed’ directors relates personal connection with ‘Rocky’ films

Award-winning filmmaker Ryan Coogler directs the upcoming boxing drama Creed. The film reunites Coogler with his “Fruitvale Station” star Michael B. Jordan as the son of Apollo Creed, and explores a new chapter in the “Rocky” story, starring Academy Award nominee Sylvester Stallone in his iconic role.

Coogler talks about the origins of the Rocky spinoff film in the following interview.

Question: What set you on the path to making “Creed” and why you were drawn to telling a story about Apollo Creed’s son?

Ryan Coogler: It started a long time ago. I’m very close with my dad, who is a big Rocky fan. I played a lot of sports as a kid and before he’d take me to a game, he’d put on a Rocky film to get me pumped up. His favorite was Rocky II. He was a big, strong guy, but he’d get really emotional whenever he’d watch that one. So, because my dad was so passionate about them, I had an affinity for the films too.

As I got older, I found out my dad was so into the Rocky films because he’d watch them with his mom when she was sick. She passed away before I was born. So he was reacting to the movies, but he was also reacting to the memory of his mom.

When I went to film school, I was getting ready to shoot my first feature, and round about that time my dad started to have some health issues. I had a hard time dealing with that—him getting older and me taking care of him. As I was going through that experience, I came up with this idea of a similar situation with his hero, Rocky. It was kind of an artistic way of venting my feelings. I was so busy working on Fruitvale Station that I asked my buddy, Aaron Covington, if he’d like to write it with me.

I mentioned it to my agents at the time and they introduced me to Sylvester Stallone’s agent. This was before I’d even made Fruitvale; I was still casting it. But I had a meeting with Stallone’s agent and his business manager. I pitched them the idea, they thought about it and said, ‘I don‘t think Sly wants to do anything like this.’ [Laughs]

Q: Was that because he’d already done Rocky Balboa?

Coogler: I think so. That movie was sort of his farewell to Rocky and he was very happy with it.

Q: So when did you first talk to him about it?

Coogler: It was in July of 2012; I remember because we were getting ready to shoot Fruitvale. I met him, I pitched it to him, we talked about it, and I could tell he was really apprehensive.

I hadn’t made a feature film yet, so he was probably thinking: who is this kid coming in talking about making a Rocky movie – something that’s so precious to him? I told him, honestly, I wouldn’t blame him if he thought I was crazy. I knew when I was pitching it to him that it was a wild idea. But Sly’s a smart dude; he’s an emotional dude. He’s a thinker, you know what I’m saying? He was thinking about every different way this could work, and every different way it could fail.


Q: What did you say that convinced him to give it his blessing?

Coogler: I was just honest with him. I told him how I saw the film, how I saw the characters. I think what appealed to him was that it wasn’t a Rocky movie, in that Rocky isn’t the main focus of the film. Obviously the character was going to be heavily involved, but the focus is very much on Adonis Johnson.

Q: In a way, your movie takes Rocky full circle in that he becomes a mentor to this young fighter in the same way that Mickey, Burgess Meredith’s character, was to him in the first Rocky movie.

Coogler: Exactly. And I think that connection resonated with him.

Q: Has your dad seen the movie yet?

Coogler: No, he hasn’t seen it yet. If I showed it to him too early he’d tell everyone the whole movie [laughs]. But he’s seen bits and pieces. The crew had tee shirts and sweatshirts made and he’s got all of those. He wears one every time I see him.

Q: Did he get to meet Stallone?

Coogler: Yeah, he got to meet Sly. You know the restaurant in Rocky Balboa [Adrian’s]? We shot some scenes there. My dad came to Philly for those scenes so that’s where he got to meet Sly.

Opening across the Philippines on December 9, 2015, Creed is distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

‘Ice Age: Collision Course’ cast members announced

From Blue Sky  Studios and 20th Century Fox – “Ice Age: Collision Course,” the fifth big screen instalment of the colossal blockbuster cartoon franchise “Ice Age” that will take over theatres July 2016, announces the return of its previous cast and introduces new members as a cosmic Scratastrophe looms and endangers their world.

In the new film, the beloved herd from the Ice Age movies — including woolly mammoths Manny (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah), saber-toothed tigers Diego (Denis Leary) and Shira (Jennifer Lopez), and lovable sloth Sid (John Leguizamo) — have to leave their homes to save themselves when cosmic events threaten their world. And one of the places they wander into is an exotic, fantastical locale where one of the new characters known as Shangri Llama (Jesse Tyler Ferguson) is the spiritual leader of sorts.

Ferguson, the Modern Family TV star describes his extremely colourful yoga-loving character as “Me being someone who can barely look at my toes without feeling an incredible stretch, I envy him for his limber nature.”

Joining Ferguson in the “Ice Age: Collision Course” world who will also lend voices to new characters are Adam DeVine, Nick Offerman, Max Greenfield, Stephanie Beatriz, Melissa Rauch, Carlos Ponce, Michael Strahan, pop star Jessie J and popular scientist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who plays Neil deBuck Weasel.

In a rollout of Tweets from the cast, leading everyone to follow #CollisionCourse, Jennifer Lopez tweeted away “Shira is back with a purr-fect cast!” while John Leguizamo posted his character’s photo too with a suave message “Sloth your roll.”  Moreso, youthful Keke Palmer just like her character Peaches tweeted “Ice, Ice Baby” and Max Greenfield known for his recurring television roles in Veronica Mars, Ugly Betty and Modern Men joins the Ice Age family who belongs to the dino bird family.  Music phenomenon Jessie J, whose songs such as “Flashlight” and “Price Tag” that topped the charts plays Brooke, from the family of sloths for which she excitedly twitted “You ‘Herd’ it here first! I’m in #IceAge! Follow #CollisionCourse.”

GUIDE: MMFF New Wave 2015

Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF) has just announced the finalists for its three categories: Full-Length Features, HOOQ Short Films and Animation. MMFF New Wave 2015 will run from December 17 to 24 at SM Megamall, Glorietta 4, and Robinsons Place Manila.

Here are the screening schedules of MMFF New Wave 2015 per venue:

(See the screening schedules per date further below.)

mmff new wave 2015 megamall schedule  mmff new wave 2015 glorietta schedule

mmff new wave 2015 robinsons manila schedule

Here are the finalists of MMFF New Wave 2015 for each category:

Full-Length Features

(Click the movie title to view trailer/teaser.)

  1. Ari by Carlo Enciso Catu
  2. Mandirigma by Arlyn Dela Cruz
  3. Tandem by King Palisoc
  4. Toto by John Paul Su
  5. Turo-Turo by Ray An Dulay

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MMFF 2015 New Wave Full-Length Films

HOOQ Short Films

  1. Daisy by Brian Spencer Reyes
  2. Ding Mangasyas (Tough Guys) by Justine Emmanuel Dizon
  3. Lapis by Maricel Cariaga
  4. Momento by Jan-Kyle Nieva
  5. Mumu by Jean Cheryl Tagyamon

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MMFF 2015 New Wave Short Films


  1. Alamat ng Giraffe by Alyssandra Kyle Mallari
  2. Buttons by Marvel Obemio, Francis Ramirez and Jared Garcia
  3. Geo by John Aurthur Mercader
  4. Little Lights by Rivelle Mallari
  5. The Seed by Joven Maniaol and Larreina Bianca Libuton

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The Best Picture winner will receive P 300,000 (for full-length category), P 100,000 (for short film) and P100,000 (for animation).

MMFF New Wave 2015 will run from December 17 to 24 at SM Megamall, Glorietta 4, and Robinsons Place Manila. The MMFF Awards Night will be held on December 27, 2015.

Here are the screening schedules of MMFF New Wave 2015 per date:

MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 17 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 18 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 19 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 20 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 21 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 22 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 23 schedule MMFF New Wave 2015 Dec 24 schedule