In 2008, Christopher Nolan changed the superhero movie landscape forever with his exhilarating, politically-charged The Dark Knight. The movie's high-level filmmaking made it the first superhero summer blockbuster to be a serious contender for the Academy Awards. While it failed to earn the coveted Best Picture nomination, Marvel might break that ground with Black Panther.
In a recent interview with Vox, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke about Oscar hopes for Black Panther. Read his full statement below:
"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.
"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 [Boseman] and Lupita [Nyong’o] and Letitia [Wright].
"There’s amazing performances, amazing artistry in that. I’d love to see them recognized, and I’d love to see this genre recognized. Yes, they’re visual effects, yes, they are fun explosions, yes, there are spaceships. But these are all hand-crafted. Maybe it’s in front of a computer; it’s often actual sets, actual hand-built costumes. As much passion and artistry and talent goes into every single one we do; it’d be amazing for them to be recognized."
One of the most distinguishing factors of Black Panther was its costume design. The film enlisted veteran costume designer Ruth Carter to design the Wakandan wardrobe, based on real-life African designs. This added a significant cultural element rarely seen in a mainstream blockbuster. Black Panther's props and wardrobe were so impressive that several items from the film were acquired by the Smithsonian Institute to be displayed in the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The major story here is the push for nominations in the main Academy Awards categories -- acting, writing and maybe even Best Picture. While a small handful of superhero films have cracked the writing and acting categories (the aforementioned Dark Knight and last year's Logan are among them), none have secured a Best Picture nomination. Black Panther has had standout commercial and critical success in today's crowded superhero movie field, largely due to its Oscar-nominated talent in star Lupita Nyong'o, as well as writer/director Ryan Coogler.