The Academy Awards are adding a Popular Film category, but for Black Panther that isn't the most sought prize.
Black Panther star Chadwick Boseman is hopeful the film will make its presence felt at the Oscar festivities, and despite there being a new category to conquer said there is only really one prize that the cast and crew are after.
"We don't know what it [the new prize] is, so I don't know whether to be happy about it or not," Boseman told THR's Awards Chatter podcast. "What I can say is that there's no campaign [that we are mounting] for popular film; like, if there's a campaign, it's for best picture, and that's all there is to it."
"A good movie is a good movie," Boseman said, "and clearly it doesn't matter how much money a movie makes in order for it to be 'a good movie' [in the minds of Academy members] because if [it did], the movies that get nominated and win [which have tended in recent years to not be blockbusters] wouldn't get nominated; and if it doesn't matter, it doesn't matter on both sides." The actor adds, "For my money, the only thing that matters is the level of difficulty."
While some will identify the extensive effects and powers as key parts to a superhero film's success, Boseman wants those voting to know how difficult a project like this is to pull off.
"What we did was very difficult," Boseman said. "We created a world, we created a culture ... we had to create a religion, a spirituality, a politics; we had to create an accent; we had to pull from different cultures to create clothing styles and hair styles. It's very much like a period piece. ... So, as far as that's concerned, I dare any movie to try to compare to the [level of] difficulty of this one. And the fact that so many people liked it — if you just say it's [merely] popular, that's elitist."
The new category is officially called the Outstanding Achievement in Popular Film and is part of an effort on the Academy's part to include more popular films in the festivities to increase ratings overall.