The big news in Variety today is that Creed star Sylvester Stallone is promising there will be a sequel — so, it seems likely that Philly’s going to have another shot at cinematic glory.
As a sidebar to that story, though, the magazine has an interview with director Ryan Coogler, who talks about how Philly shaped the movie, and how the Philly slang term “jawn” made its way into the movie.
Before he was a movie director, it seems, Coogler was a bright student athlete — and took a recruiting trip to Penn. His experiences ended up being reflected in the movie.
“When I was getting recruited for high school, one of the schools that I took a recruiting visit to was the University of Pennsylvania, UPENN,” he told Variety. “So Philly was one of the first places I had been to by myself, on my own, as a young adult. And I’ll never forget how much of a culture shock it was. I really liked it, but it was so much different from California in so many ways.
“I was around a lot of the young black folks in Philly and meeting some of the girls. My reaction to them was very similar to Adonis’ reaction when he first meets Bianca. You’re meeting these girls who were very sure of themselves, very direct. They kind of meet you head-on, and if you’re not coming right, they’ll run you right over to get to where they’re going. All those things kind of had an effect on me.”
As for jawn….
“It’s J-A-W-N. What’s crazy was, we had a lot of local crew and our special effects guy, he was a Philly dude and his name was Squares. And he had a bunch of Philadelphia-centric tattoos but his coolest tattoo was a compass. But instead of north, south, east, west it had J-A-W-N.”
We’d kill to see that tattoo — if anybody has a picture of it (or knows how to get in touch with Squares) let us know.