The announcement of the 2018 Oscar nominations brings both good and bad news for superhero fans. The bad news is that Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman has been completely shut out. To those who know their Oscars history, the absence of Wonder Woman from the “top tier” categories such as “Best Picture,” “Best Director,” or any of the “Best” or “Supporting” actor/actress categories won’t come as a big — or even small — shock. But it is surprising to see the DCEU’s most critically acclaimed film to date missing from the categories that superhero and fantasy films usually manage to sneak into with relative ease, such as “Best Achievement In Visual Effects,” “Best Makeup and Hairstyling,” “Best Sound” or “Best Visual Effects,” the latter of which Guardians of the Galaxy 2 has been nominated for this year.
The good news, however (and it’s really good news) is that Logan has picked up a nomination. It’s a significant one, too — “Best Adapted Screenplay” for writers Scott Frank, Michel Green and James Mangold (who also directed the film) making it the first superhero movie to be nominated in the category. The nomination alone marks an important turning point for a genre that attracts as much flack as it does adoration. A win would be even more remarkable, and, despite being up against some stiff competition, not outside of the realm of possibility.
The first thing to get out of the way when discussing the nomination is the use of “Adapted” vs. “Original,” the latter of which some fans might have been expecting the film would have fitted better into instead. It’s true that Logan is not a straight adaptation of one particular source in the way that, say, its category rival The Disaster Artist is a direct adaptation of Greg Sestero’s book of the same name.
Like most comic book movies, Logan borrows from many different sources, chiefly (and loosely) from Mark Millar and Steve McNiven’s’s Old Man Logan story, but also, where Laura (X-23) is concerned, from stories penned by Craig Kyle, who was also responsible for writing her very first appearances in the X-Men: Evolution animated series, along with writer Christopher Yost. In fact, James Mangold stated during a behind-the-scenes feature on the film’s Blu-ray release, “In terms of narrative, we were actually taking more from the Craig Kyle X-23 series of comics than we were from Old Man Logan.” Though its sources may add up to more than is traditional for the category, they clearly had enough of an impact on the shaping of the film not to be ignored.
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