The nation of Wakanda possesses all the vibranium deposits in the world, but the one metal it doesn’t have? Oscar gold.
As the next Academy Awards ceremony in 2019 looms, Marvel is reportedly giving a Best Picture campaign for its monumental film, Black Panther, a real go. Marvel has reportedly hired famed Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz, who helped The Hurt Locker take home Best Picture over Avatar in 2010.
On Thursday, the L.A. Times reported Marvel’s Kevin Feige is “backing the move with a significant awards season budget.”
While the Academy announced its consolation prize “Popular Films” category earlier this month, it seems Marvel isn’t settling. In an interview, Feige told the Times he is most excited at the possibility of seeing “the hard work and the effort and the vision” of director Ryan Coogler “being recognized.”
“I think it would be wonderful,” Feige says of a nomination. “The people behind the camera, the people onscreen that acted in the movie, any of them being recognized would bring us great joy because they did tremendous work. And it’s always nice when tremendous work is recognized.”
While there have been a number of critically-acclaimed superhero films, ranging from 2008’s The Dark Knight, to 2012’s The Avengers and last year’s Logan, no superhero film has won Best Picture — unless you count 2014’s Birdman (which you shouldn’t). But no superhero film ever had the same cultural impact Black Panther did just a few short months ago. Several unnamed Oscar consultants reminded this important caveat to the L.A. Times.
“You want to remind voters that this wasn’t just a movie, it was a phenomenon,” one consultant said. “The depth of that impact, what it meant to people, what it stood for — if Academy members didn’t get it then, they need to understand it now.”
Another consultant that the Times interviewed said Black Panther “ticks off” certain boxes.
“People in the academy want to reward good movies,” they said, “and they also want to reward movies that say something significant and make the industry look good.”
Will Black Panther make history yet again with a nomination for Best Picture at the Academy Awards? Once upon a time, few people in Hollywood thought black storytellers telling black stories would sell. Then Black Panther took in a whopping 1.3 billion dollars. Time will tell if there’s yet more ground for the King of Wakanda to break.
Black Panther is available on Blu-ray and DVD now. The film will begin streaming on Netflix on September 4.