Director’s Chair Introduction: Destin Daniel Cretton

by Tony Cogan · September 6, 2021 · Director's Chair · No Comments

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Deadline: 2nd October 2021

Hello everyone, it’s time to announce the featured director for September’s Directors Chair and this month I’m featuring Destin Daniel Cretton.

After he finished film school, Cretton made his feature directorial debut with I Am Not a Hipster, before bringing his short film, Short Term 12, based on his experience working in a group home for at-risk teenagers, which he won an award for at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival to feature length. The screenplay for the feature length version won a Nicholls Fellowship in Screenwriting award from AMPAS in 2010 and upon release the film won numerous awards and was placed on many critics top 10 of the year lists. It helped to advance the careers of people like LaKeith Stanfield and Kaitlyn Dever and, when the Oscars came around for that year, Brie Larson not being nominated for Best Actress was seen as one of the biggest snubs of the years awards.

In 2014, Cretton was hired to direct The Glass Castle, based on the memoir by Jeanette Wallis, and reunited Cretton with Brie Larson. Whilst the film did receive positive notes for the performances of Larson and Woody Harrelson, it ultimately received mixed reviews. After this, Cretton intended to draw more influence from his work with at-risk teenagers, working with Ryan Coogler and Chinaka Hodge to develop the TV series Minors, however, since it was announced in 2016, no further information has come out about it.

Cretton’s next film came with Just Mercy, following the efforts of defence attorney Bryan Stevenson’s efforts to reverse the conviction of Walter McMillan, an inmate falsely imprisoned on death row. The film was a critical success and won numerous awards at the NAACP Image Awards in 2020.

At Comic-Con 2019, Cretton was announced to be the director of Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, choosing to make the film to give his son a superhero to look up to. Whilst there were issues with production stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, with Cretton having to go into self-isolation for a while, the film was ultimately released to critical acclaim, praising the performances and action, and has had one the better box office performances for a film that has opened during the pandemic.

As a reminder, the films that you can cover are listed below.

  • I Am Not A Hipster
  • Short Term 12
  • The Glass Castle
  • Just Mercy
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings

I look forward to reading whatever you send me.