In the entire recorded history of the Oscars, there has never been a superhero movie nominated for the coveted award. Not one—not even those that truly should have been such as Logan, Dark Knight or the cult original Superman with Christopher Reeves. However, on Tuesday morning history was made and the ways of the Oscars they are a-changin'.
Among the eight contenders for the golden statue for Best Picture is the Marvel Studios produced movie Black Panther. Now, the Panther has a lot of high quality, stiff competition, the likes of which are BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favorite, A Star is Born, Roma, Vice and Green Book.
It has been rumored and on the wind for months that Marvel Studios was pushing the film to the selection committee and pushing it hard. So, it was known for a while that there was a possibility, all be it slim, that the movie could make the cut—and make the cut it did.
The critical and commercial box office mega-hit, directed by Ryan Coogler, was nominated in several other categories as well, including costume design, original score, original song, production design, sound editing, and sound mixing. This is surely nothing less than a history-making moment for Marvel Studios, comic book movies in general, and the Oscars as well.
When asked before about the actual possibility of the film garnering an Oscar win, Marvel Studios VP of development and production Nate Moore replied:
“A lot of our films, I think very rightfully and hopefully successfully, just feel like pieces of pure escapism. It attempts to make people think about the world that’s around them and celebrate, frankly, a continent, in Africa, that’s often overlooked.”
From his first appearance in the movie Captain America: Civil War, the Black Panther was a success and quickly became a fan favorite. It was almost a sure guarantee that he would get his own solo outing, and as suspected he did. And now that solo outing is in contention for the granddaddy of all awards—an Oscar.
It has often been said that it is difficult for a good man to be a king. But many will agree that it is even harder for a superhero movie, no matter how popular and well received it has become, to actually win the Best Picture. It may very well end up being that Black Panther will the first, and will set a benchmark and precedent for those to follow. Either way, we will have to wait until February 24th to see if the Motion Picture Association will make history, or let it slip through their fingertips.
Will Black Panther indeed take home the Best Picture statue?