Marvel Studios’ Black Panther has been nominated for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards, making it the first superhero film to be in contention for Hollywood’s most coveted prize.
Also competing in the category against the Ryan Coogler-directed blockbuster are nominees BlacKkKlansman, Bohemian Rhapsody, The Favourite, Green Book, Roma, A Star Is Born, and Vice.
Star Angela Bassett, who plays Ramonda, mother to newly crowned Wakandan king T’Challa (Chadwick Boseman), said the cultural milestone “deserves” the award.
“I think the movie works so brilliantly on so many levels. It’s superhero, Marvel [Cinematic] Universe and all of that, but it connected with historians, it connected with culture, it connected globally, it just reached in and grabbed folks’ hearts and their minds and shattered so many expectations and preconceived notions,” she told Toofab.
The film was the first birthed from the superhero genre to be nominated for highest honors at the Golden Globes, where it competed for Best Picture - Drama.
In July, after the $1.3 billion earned by Black Panther at the worldwide box office helped lead Marvel to a record-setting $17 billion in lifetime totals, Feige told Vox he hoped to see its talent recognized but admitted the genre is typically overlooked outside of technical categories.
“I think there are a lot of amazing artists that helped to make that movie, and it would be wonderful if they could be recognized. Almost everyone involved in that movie, bringing that movie together, is great, and it would be wonderful to see if they’re recognized. We’ll see. This genre, typically not,” Feige said.
“And I think it would be a wonderful thing for Panther and for our production designer Hannah [Beachler], and our costume designer Ruth [Carter], and for Ryan [Coogler] who co-wrote the script with Joe Robert Cole, and of course directed the movie. And Michael B. Jordan, and Chadwick and Lupita [Nyong’o] and Letitia [Wright].”
Across its ten-year, 20-movie history, Marvel Studios has yet to win gold.
The studio earned eight nominations for Best Visual Effects, including nominations for 2012’s The Avengers and 2017’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2, and nominations for Best Sound Editing (2008’s Iron Man) and Best Makeup and Hairstyling (2014’s Guardians of the Galaxy).
“Maybe it’s easy to dismiss VFX or flying people or spaceships or billion dollar grosses. I think it is easy to say that you have already been awarded in a certain way,” Feige said in June of Marvel’s lack of awards recognition.
“[Alfred] Hitchcock never won best director, so it’s very nice, but it doesn’t mean everything. I would much rather be in a room full of engaged fans.”
Captain Marvel opens March 8, followed by Avengers: Endgame April 26 and Spider-Man: Far From Home July 5.