×

Elvis Mitchell Geotags Top Filmmakers in Docuseries ‘Elvis Goes There’

Journalist, film critic and radio host Elvis Mitchell got to travel the world and interview renowned filmmakers about their hometowns and inspirations in his new docuseries “Elvis Goes There” on EPIX.

Each place was very specific and came to mean much more than I could’ve imagined,” Mitchell told Variety.

Mitchell sits down with “Black Panther” director Ryan Coogler in Oakland, Calif., in the second episode, which airs Feb. 11. Heavily impacted by his hometown, Coogler set the entire story of his debut feature film “Fruitvale Station” and the prologue of Marvel blockbuster “Black Panther” in the city. The two discussed the history, culture and deeply political roots of Oakland, where the Black Panther party formed in 1966.

Ryan Coogler is the hottest director on the planet,” Mitchell said. “I cannot imagine the number of emails and phone calls that he put aside to shoot for three days of his astonishingly busy schedule. He was so generous and open with his time and with himself.”

One of the most touching moments of the episode comes in a boxing gym where Mitchell and Coogler talk with Oakland boxer Andre Ward, who appeared in both of Coogler’s “Creed” films. In the middle of an interview taking place on Halloween, Coogler sees a little girl dressed in a homemade Shuri costume from “Black Panther” and stops to talk to her. Her parents tell the director that the film is her favorite and she watches it every day.

“That was such a magic moment,” Mitchell said. “That to me is part of the luck I had. I got to see people be as moved by the process as I was.”

Mitchell also brings in Oakland natives Daveed Diggs, Boots Riley and Cheryl Dunye to share their stories and relationships with the East Bay area. Mitchell and Diggs ate at one of Diggs’ favorite childhood restaurants, which brought back memories for the actor.

“He takes a bite of this peach cobbler and you see all the years come back into his face, just that rush hitting him,” Mitchell said. “A meal can really remind somebody why they love a place, and there was clearly nothing like that peach cobbler because he starts talking on and on.”

The first episode, which premiered Monday, saw Mitchell visit London to sit down with Paul Feig to learn how the city continues to fuel the comedy director’s career. Best known for creating “Freaks and Geeks” and directing “Bridesmaids,” Feig has visited London for nearly 30 years, and he and Mitchell checked out some of his favorite spots. Matt Lucas, Bridget Christie, Indra Ove and Sue Perkins also joined the two to share how the European city has impacted their careers.

Later episodes of “Elvis Goes There” will bring Mitchell together with Sofia Coppola in Paris and Guillermo del Toro in Los Angeles. The series airs on EPIX on Mondays at 10 p.m.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Leonardo Dicaprio Once Upon a Time

    Leonardo DiCaprio's Earth Alliance Commits $5 Million to Amazon Fires

    Earth Alliance, an environmental initiative backed by Leonardo DiCaprio, has committed $5 million toward the preservation of the Amazon rain forest following an alarming surge in wildfires. After launching Sunday, the organization’s emergency Amazon Forest Fund is working to support local partners and indigenous communities in their efforts to protect the sensitive habitats within the [...]

  • (from left) Luke Hobbs (Dwayne Johnson)

    Box Office: 'Hobbs & Shaw' Scores $102 Million Debut in China, Nears $600 Million Globally

    Universal’s “Hobbs & Shaw” returned to first place on the international box office charts, thanks to a massive $102 million debut in China. The “Fast & Furious” spinoff, starring Dwayne Johnson and Jason Statham, collected another $120 million overseas, boosting its foreign tally to $441 million. “Hobbs & Shaw” is nearing the $600 million mark [...]

  • Angel Has Fallen

    Box Office: 'Angel Has Fallen' Rises to No. 1 With $21 Million Debut

    “Angel Has Fallen,” the third chapter in Lionsgate and Millenium’s action franchise starring Gerard Butler, had a stronger opening weekend than expected, collecting $21.25 million during its first three days of release. Those ticket sales were enough to top domestic box office charts, bumping last weekend’s champ, Universal’s comedy “Good Boys,” to second place. Starring [...]

  • Amanda

    ‘Amanda’ Takes Home Best Int’l Film at 15th Sanfic

    SANTIAGO, Chile    French director Mikhael Hers’ “Amanda” scooped up the Best Int’l Film award Saturday (Aug. 24) at the 15th Santiago Int’l Film Fest (Sanfic), which reported a 20% audience uptick in the past two years and continues to grow its reputation as the most vibrant and prominent film festival in Latin America’s Southern [...]

  • disney d23

    Cruella, Kit Harington and Black Panther's Return: Everything We Learned at D23 Day Two

    Not to be outdone by the avalanche of series orders and casting announcements bolstering the new streaming series Disney Plus, Walt Disney Studios showed off its film wares in a marathon presentation at D23 on Saturday. The Anaheim, Calif. expo brought star power, if perhaps fewer surprises than Friday’s presentation, as fans in princess and [...]

  • Harvey Weinstein, Katie Holmes, Taylor Swift'The

    Taylor Swift Downplays Association With Harvey Weinstein

    Taylor Swift’s association with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein was among the topics the singer addressed in a revealing new interview with The Guardian. Weinstein held producer credits for the movies “One Chance” and “The Giver,” both of which featured Swift — in the former, a song, and in the latter, a supporting role. She [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content