Despite the Best Picture category at the Academy Awards having expanded from five to as many as ten nominees in response to the public outcry when The Dark Knight wasn't nominated in 2008, none of the more than a dozen comic book movies to come out since then have been nominated in a major Academy Award category.
Captain America: The Winter Soldier may have the best shot at reversing that trend, with Oscar winner Robert Redford playing the villain, a "serious" plot with hints at bigger social issues under the surface and largely ecstatic reviews from both the fan and mainstream press. The directors, speaking with Deadline, acknowledged it's an uphill climb but also said they're frustrated by how little credibility comics adaptations are granted by the Academy.
“It’s a real movie, real filmmaking , and it has really high aspirations , in terms of what cinema can be and what it can do , and what our experience of it is. It has every intention on the part of the filmmakers to reach audiences on the deepest level,” said Anthony Russo, co-director.
“It’s strange that the comic book film genre is so often thought of only in terms of its economic merits. Yes, it’s shockingly popular and continues to grow and, yes , the box office success of these films can often embarrassingly outweigh their merits, but as Christopher Nolan perhaps first proved, real and valuable filmmaking can be achieved with the genre. It’s sad that some poeple , seemingly soured by having to endure the massive cultural presence and expectations that even mediocre or poor examples of the genre can generate, react by trying to reject the genre as a whole,” said Anthony's brother and co-director Joe Russo. “Snubbing comic book movies because of their ubiquity is akin to dismissing the western as matinee fodder.”