Coming off of Creed, director Ryan Coogler was red-hot. The filmmaker certainly made waves with his debut feature, Fruitvale Station, but Creed reached the mainstream in a big way, and proved Coogler can imbue an existing franchise property with character, theme, and a strong authorial voice. So it came as no surprise, then, that Coogler subsequently signed on to helm Marvel’s Black Panther, the studio’s first superhero movie led by a non-white actor. But it appears that Coogler, thankfully, isn’t leaving his passion for grounded, real-life-driven stories behind, as he’s helping to spearhead an upcoming drama series that aims to tackle the issue of institutionalization head on.
Per THR, Coogler, Short Term 12 director Destin Daniel Cretton, and acclaimed playwright/poet Chinaka Hodge are shopping a TV drama series called Minors, which will draw from the personal experiences of each individual to focus on the children affected by institutionalization, documenting how the facilities influence and shape the kids over the span of one year. Coogler will draw from his experiences working in a juvenile detention facility in Oakland, California, Cretton will pull from his work in juvenile foster care, and Hodge will draw from her experience as a teacher working with underserved youth.
All three creators will serve as executive producers on the project, with Hodge writing and Coogler and Cretton directing. Charles D. King is also executive producing, and is working on shopping the drama series to networks and other TV vehicles at the moment.
It’s unclear where Minors will end up, but it sounds like a terrific project. At a time when diversity is at the forefront of Hollywood, television has become the place where non-white, non-male actors, directors, and writers can flourish. It’s nice to see Coogler remaining involved in telling real-world stories, even as he begins to develop a blockbuster Marvel movie, and it’s been far too long a wait for Cretton’s next project after the terrific Short Term 12—although he does have Just Mercy in the works with Michael B. Jordan.
So will Minors go to a major network like NBC or Fox, or will it go the cable route via FX or HBO? The latter is positively itching for original drama content so that could be a swell fit, but in today’s landscape, it feels like a streaming service is probably the most likely route. Hopefully we hear word soon, as Coogler is about to be very busy later this year.