Black Panther achieved what, to some, felt like the impossible today: it became the first Marvel Studios film nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture. The film captured six other nominations as well, but in all the excitement there was one name noticeably absent when the nominations were called out -- Ryan Coogler.
Coogler, who not only directed by co-wrote Black Panther, wasn't nominated for either Best Director or Best Adapted Screenplay. However, while the director may have been snubbed by the Academy, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige gives Coogler all the credit when it comes to the film's Oscar nods and is making sure everyone knows it.
"You're going to hear me say the name 'Ryan Coogler' constantly on this phone call," Feige told The New York Times in an interview today. "To me, the best thing a producer can do is find a person with something to say, who has a story to tell and can tell it in a way that the world responds to. That's what Mr. Coogler has done for us."
To say that the world responded to Black Panther is almost an understatement. The film has been an unprecedented success for Marvel. Released in February 2018, the film brought in $1.3 billion at the box office, $700 million of that domestically in a rare occurrence of a film performing better domestically than internationally. The film is also the only of Marvel's solo franchises to hit that billion-dollar mark. Even beyond the box office, Black Panther has had a cultural impact as well -- the "Wakanda Forever" phrase continuing to be popular among fans all around the world.
As for Feige's praise for Coogler, it's not surprising that he is giving the director the credit for the film's awards season recognition. Today's comment is hardly the first time Feige has had high praise for Coogler and his work.
"With what Ryan was doing, what he had to say, and vouching for crew members that we had not worked with before but that he believed in -- he came in and blew us away with initial sort of presentations to get the job," Feige told Variety's Playback Podcast. "For them to have stepped up and knocked it out of the park the way they did is incredible. It comes down to a filmmaker who has such a deft hand at being able to balance something that is going to have entertainment value with being true to his soul and being true to the questions he had growing up."
In addition to the Best Picture nomination, Black Panther was also nominated for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound Editing, Best Original Score, Best Production Design, and Best Original song (for "All The Stars").
Avengers: Infinity War is now available on home video. Upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movies include Captain Marvel on March 8, 2019, Avengers: Endgame on April 26, 2019, and Spider-Man: Far From Home on July 5, 2019.