Movie News & Reviews

‘Black Panther,’ ‘Creed’ director producing SC comic book creators’ work into film

He made Apollo Creed’s son into a champion on the screen and he earned Marvel Studios its first Oscars. Now, Ryan Coogler is set to produce the film adaptation of two South Carolina comic book creators’ latest story.

Coogler, writer and director of the films “Black Panther” and “Creed,” the sequel to Sylvester Stallone’s “Rocky” films, was tapped to be part of the adaptation of “Bitter Root.” He’ll be working alongside his wife Sev Ohanian and Zinzi Evans on the comic-to-film conversion.

Deadline, a TV and film industry website, broke the news of Coogler’s involvement with “Bitter Root.”

South Carolina comic book creators Sanford Greene and Chuck Brown created “Bitter Root” along with David F. Walker, who has worked with Marvel, DC Comics, Dark Horse as well as others and is based in Portland, Oregon.

“Bitter Root,” released by Image Comics, is set during the 1920s Harlem Renaissance in New York and focuses on a family of monster hunters struggling to reconcile their identity after years of strife. When a malevolent force invades New York, the family has to come together or watch their city be destroyed.

Legendary, the studio that produced “The Dark Knight” series, “Black Klansman,” “Straight Outta Compton” and many other popular films, is backing “Bitter Root.”

Greene, from Charleston but settled in Columbia, is a household name in the comic book world having worked with Marvel, DC and other comic book studios. He’s created serials with well-loved characters such as Black Panther, Luke Cage, Wonder Girl, Batgirl and a host of others. His online comic “1000” won a prestigious Ringo award.

Chuck Brown founded 803 studios, his comic book imprint named after the South Carolina Midlands’ area code. He has created books for Dark Horse Comics and worked with Marvel on books centered on characters The Punisher and Black Panther, as well as working with Image and IDW.

“Bitter Root” came out in November 2018 and has a five-issue run. It was nominated for an Eisner Award, another prominent honor in the comic book world. The Washington Post picked up on the comics gravitas, writing, “the comic is by an all-black creative team and features a predominantly black cast of characters.”

“(‘Bitter Root’) has become a conversation starter in the comic book industry, which continues to awaken to more diverse ways of creating characters both on the page and behind the scenes,” the Post said.

David Travis Bland won the South Carolina Press Association’s 2017 Judson Chapman Award for community journalism. As The State’s crime, police and public safety reporter, he strives to inform communities about crimes that affect them and give deeper insight into victims, the accused and law enforcement. He studied history with a focus on the American South at the University of South Carolina.