The 81st Annual Academy Awards had all the makings of an epic year in the ratings, but instead the telecast looks like it might be serving up the movie equivalent of Ishtar. In the plus category, the Academy Awards selected Hugh Jackman to host the show. Hugh Jackman is best known for his portrayal of Wolverine in the X-Men movies. Hugh Jackman is also the star of the upcoming X-Men Origins: Wolverine movie, which is likely to be one of the biggest if not the biggest movie of the summer of 2009. Hugh Jackman’s selection as host would have had many comic book fans tuning in to see this year’s Academy Awards. Of course, that would have happened, if The Academy hadn’t then gone and outraged comic book fans everywhere by snubbing The Dark Knight in the Best Picture category. Now, comic book fans are divided on what to do. Some comments from fans on the Dark Campaign website, which was created to promote The Dark Knight movie for consideration as a Best Picture nominee, have suggested that Dark Knight fans should boycott the Academy Awards this year. However, the biggest argument against a boycott is that The Academy did nominate Heath Ledger, based on his performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight, for Best Supporting Actor. While many comic book fans are angry at the Best Picture snub of The Dark Knight, no one wants to miss Heath Ledger getting posthumously awarded a well-deserved Best Supporting Actor Oscar. Also, The Dark Knight did get nominated in a total of eight categories. In addition to the Best Supporting Actor nod for Heath Ledger, The Dark Knight was nominated for Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Makeup, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, and Best Visual Effects. So essentially, The Academy members said The Dark Knight was an excellent movie everywhere from visuals to editing to sound to acting, but it wasn’t good enough for a Best Picture or Best Director nomination. The fact that The Dark Knight received nominations in eight categories but wasn’t deemed worthy of a Best Picture nod sure makes it look like the film was excluded because it was a popular comic book movie. How can you recognize a film as excellent in every way and then not nominate it as one of the best movies of the year? What exactly is the criteria for a Best Picture nomination? For The Academy members, it appears that one of the main criteria is that the film must not have been seen by hardly anyone other than Academy members. So what will comic book fans ultimately do in regards to The Academy Awards? Will they boycott the Oscars? My prediction is that most comic book fans will tune in until the Best Supporting Actor is announced, but not stick around for the Best Picture announcement. In fact if the Academy Awards ratings show a huge decline from the start of the telecast to the end, then maybe The Academy will realize what could have been if only they had rightly recognized The Dark Knight as one of the Best Pictures of the year.