Marvel Studios chief and Black Panther producer Kevin Feige says the blockbuster’s seven Oscar nominations are “somewhat bittersweet” because writer-director Ryan Coogler is not up for director or best adapted screenplay.
“I think it is,” Feige admitted to EW, adding Coogler doesn’t feel snubbed.
“Ryan is very pleased that the film [was honored] and he would much rather, if you ask him, see that his crew members be recognized, which so many of them were.”
Black Panther is nominated for Best Picture, making it the first superhero film to be nominated for Hollywood’s most coveted prize.
It also competes for Best Costume Design, Best Sound Mixing and Sound Editing, Best Original Music Score, Best Production Design, and Best Original Song for Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s “All the Stars.”
In July, Feige expressed his hopes to see Coogler recognized at the Academy Awards but admitted the genre often goes overlooked.
“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 told Vox.
“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].”
The prolific producer also credits Coogler with encouraging the Disney-owned studio “to hire people who hadn’t necessarily done films of this size before, which we often do when it comes to the director position, but not always when it came to cinematographer or production designer or costume designer,” Feige told Variety.
“And now those examples are nominated for an Academy Award this year.”
Though Feige would be awarded the Oscar should Black Panther be crowned Best Picture, Feige jokingly said Coogler will “have no choice” but to speak when accepting the award.
“Without question — because it is Ryan’s film, and it is Ryan’s achievement,” he told EW. “It would be a must. I would ask him, very kindly, to be there.”
Black Panther dominated the 2018 domestic box office with $700 million earned, making it just the third film in history to bypass that milestone.
Worldwide, Black Panther was the second highest-grossing movie of the year — behind only Marvel’s own Avengers: Infinity War — and emerged as the ninth biggest earner of all time.