It was announced today that Academy Award nominated filmmaker Ryan Coogler (BLACK PANTHER, FRUITVALE STATION), producer Zinzi Coogler (JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH), writer and producer Sev Ohanian (SEARCHING, RUN), Academy Award and Grammy winning composer and music producer Ludwig Göransson (BLACK PANTHER, TENET), SVP of Marketing at RCA Records Archie Davis and Emmy Award winning filmmaker Peter Nicks (THE WAITING ROOM, THE FORCE, HOMEROOM) have joined together to launch Proximity, a new multi-media company.
With a focused vision to create event-driven material across film, television, music and podcasts, the six founding members of Proximity will bring their individual talents and expertise to supervise each project from development to release, including out-of-the-box marketing activations and companion projects.
Proximity’s first film, Shaka King’s JUDAS AND THE BLACK MESSIAH, is nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and is certified fresh at 96% on Rotten Tomatoes. Proximity produced the Warner Bros. film alongside MACRO, Participant Media and Bron Creative, which tells the story of FBI informant William O’Neal (LaKeith Stanfield)’s infiltration of the Illinois chapter of the Black Panther Party led by Chairman Fred Hampton (Daniel Kaluuya), as well as the soundtrack and accompanying podcast. Daniel Kaluuya won a Golden Globe, a SAG Award and a BAFTA Award for “Best Supporting Actor” on behalf of the film, which was also nominated for a PGA Award for “Outstanding Producer of Theatrical Motion Pictures”, a WGA Award for “Best Adapted Screenplay” and was named one of the best films of the year by both AFI and National Board of Review. The soundtrack garnered over 33M US streams in its first week and nearly 50M WW streams. It also debuted at #12 on the Billboard chart and #1 on the Top Soundtracks chart.
Proximity has also partnered with Radiotopia founder Roman Mars (99% Invisible) to produce podcasts that extend the conversation around the film’s production and subject matter. Their first co-production is the Judas and the Black Messiah Podcast, a six-part series produced by Christopher Johnson and hosted by Elvis Mitchell and Chairman Fred Hampton Jr., which features in depth conversations from the film’s cast, filmmakers and former Black Panther Party members. Since its launch, the five episodes of the podcast have been downloaded over 590K times.
Ryan Coogler, Zinzi Coogler and Sev Ohanian will oversee all of Proximity’s operations, with Ludwig Göransson serving as principal music executive, Archie Davis overseeing marketing, soundtrack and podcast production and Peter Nicks spearheading the Non-Fiction division of the company and directing select projects.
The founding members will work together on select projects under the Proximity banner, while also producing their own works among their many verticals.
“It has been a great joy to form Proximity with some of my closest loved ones and collaborators whose work and commitment to their craft I have long admired,” said Ryan Coogler.
“It is such an honor to be working alongside my partners and friends to launch Proximity. We’re looking forward to telling meaningful stories that we hope will resonate with audiences across all ages and backgrounds,” said Zinzi Coogler.
“Nine years ago I co-produced the film Fruitvale Station, and found a lifelong collaborator in Ryan Coogler. So when Ryan asked me to join him and Zinzi in launching Proximity, I was all in. I couldn’t be more proud of what we’ve all accomplished together and can’t wait for all that’s still to come,” said Ohanian.
“I could not be prouder to be part of the collective force that makes up the Proximity family. I look forward to using my experience in film scoring and songwriting to shine a spotlight on some of the most exciting and compelling voices in music today,” said Göransson
“It is my honor to work with such distinguished creatives that I get to call my team. The collective vision of Proximity and its potential is a responsibility that I take with honor. Ryan, Zinzi, Sev, Ludwig and Peter, thank you so much for inviting me on this journey with you all. To create with purpose alongside people you trust is a gift I cherish everyday,” said Davis.
“From the ability to entertain to bearing witness at this watershed moment in our democracy, content creators are riding an unprecedented wave of interest in nonfiction storytelling. I’m excited to join this group of talented storytellers at Proximity who recognize the increasingly dynamic role that nonfiction is playing in both our culture and in the marketplace,” said Nicks.
Proximity has entered into a five-year overall exclusive television deal with The Walt Disney Company, one of which will include a new Marvel Studios series based in BLACK PANTHER’s Kingdom of Wakanda for Disney+.
Upcoming Proximity projects include SPACE JAM: A NEW LEGACY, the sequel to the hit 1996 film; the film adaptation of graphic novel series BITTER ROOT; CREED 3, starring and to be directed by Michael B. Jordan; and WRONG ANSWER, written by Ta Nehisi Coates.