Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has expressed pure delight and gratitude for Black Panther's nomination in the Best Picture category for the 91st annual Academy Awards, calling the landmark achievement "immensely gratifying."
"The word that keeps coming to me from the moment it happened is just this humbling sense of pride for everyone involved in the movie," he said to Entertainment Weekly. "It's the most important recognition that a film can receive in our industry. That’s not lost on any of us. It’s something that’s immensely gratifying."
Ryan Coogler's film is the first superhero motion picture to receive an Oscar nomination in this category, racking up seven nominations in total. It will also compete in the categories for sound editing (Benjamin A. Burtt, Steve Boeddeker), sound mixing, original score (for Ludwig Goransson), costume design (Ruth E. Carter), production design (Hannah Beachler) and original song (“All The Stars” from Black Panther by Kendrick Lamar, SZA).
After being denied a nomination for Best Picture at the Golden Globes and the Producers Guild Awards, many fans weren't expecting such a pleasant surprise. However, when it came to the billion-dollar-grossing movie, Feige made it perfectly clear its message -- one of diversity and culture -- was something difficult to ignore.
"It's about representation, and it’s about inclusion, and it’s about the importance of telling different types of stories," he continued. "That the Academy recognized that this morning is extremely gratifying to all of us."
Feige also gushed about the entire creative team and indicated it was their vision that brought all this to fruition.
"As the numerous phone calls and text messages [show] that went back and forth between all of us who were lucky enough to work on the film, it is just … pride. I think Black Panther is a unique movie told by a unique filmmaker in a unique time,” Feige added. "It comes down to this amazing cast and crew, and a brilliant director who had something to say. He had a very personal story and struggle to explore, and he wanted to use this movie and this canvas to tell it. Looking over the past year at the cultural impact this movie has had around the world, it feels like the recognition from the Academy this morning is the pinnacle of that."
The winners of the 91st annual Academy Awards will be presented Sunday, Feb. 24, in a ceremony broadcast live on ABC.