Black Panther is the first superhero movie to earn an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture.
10 years ago it was The Dark Knight that initiated a conversation that has been ongoing since. Christopher Nolan’s take on Batman failed to earn an Oscar nomination for Best Picture, despite many in the industry deeming it worthy.
Ben Child from The Guardian wrote –
“there remains the sneaking suspicion that many voters refrained from nominating The Dark Knight not because they did not believe it to be a great film, but because they did not believe it to be the right sort of great film.”Ben Child, The Guardian
The ensuing outcry forced the academies hand into changing the core of the awards. Later, the number of nominees had risen from five to ten films.
Conversely, that changed the perception of audiences and critics alike, and allowed for less traditional films to get the nod.
“The message was clear: War pictures, tearjerking dramas, biopics, and message movies were on notice; they’d now have to share the room with action blockbusters, superhero films, sci-fi flicks, animated features and comedies,” Nathaniel Rodgers wrote for Polygon last year.
THE CHANGE FINALLY CAME
However, when it came to superhero movies, that idea was shunned. That is, until 2019 when Black Panther has now officially been announced as a nominee for Best Picture – Drama. That’s the 23rd film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, while others were relegated to less glamorous categories in the past.
Coogler’s film was also nominated for costume design, original score, original song, production design, sound editing and sound mixing. It’s joined in the best picture lineup by BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, A Star Is Born, Vice and Netflix’s
Roma. Will Black Panther win? I am not sure I’d bet against it.