Comic book films have never been a favorite of the Academy Awards, with Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight was the last (and only) superhero flick to score a Best Supporting Actor nomination for the late Heath Ledger’s portrayal of the Joker. While Ledger undeniably deserved the acclaim for his work, having delivered what is viewed by many to be the best on screen villain performance in recent years, many couldn’t help but to wonder why Nolan was left out of the best director category for his work behind the lens. It’s a topic that has continued to come up with each subsequent Oscars, however, the topic of The Dark Knight‘s “snubbing” may officially be history with the announcement of this year’s nominees.
With a plethora of fantastic superhero films debuting in 2017, many had hopes that Fox’s Logan, which was met with critical acclaim upon release last year, would earn multiple nominations alongside DC and Warner Bros. film, Wonder Woman, which had also proven to be a critical and financial success. And while the former did land one major nomination, Wonder Woman surprised many by being shut out of the nominations completely after seeming like a likely contender. This, of course, led to fans declaring it the biggest Oscar snub of 2017 — but is that truly the case? Despite its undebatable importance and role in helping to restore audience faith in the DC Extended Universe, was Wonder Woman ever truly worthy of being an Oscar nominee in the first place?
Wonder Woman had the weight of the world on its shoulder prior to its release last June. Not only had the DC Extended Universe twice stumbled with the poorly received Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad, it was the first female-led superhero film in some time. That, of course, is notable as Hollywood tends to weigh female-fronted properties differently when considering potential future projects.
The film went on to smash various records at the box office and turned both its star Gal Gadot and director Patty Jenkins into household names. Yet, while the film seemed to be all everyone could talk about over after it’s summer debut, Wonder Woman never quite seemed to be a true contender for an Oscar nomination. Sure, Warner Bros. began a push for the film; however, it’s worth noting that studios will do campaigns numerous films, even knowing most movies’ chances of a nomination are slim to none. Marvel Studios does an Oscar push every year for their films, including “For your consideration” campaigns for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok.
Still, many fans had held out hope that Wonder Woman would be the film to successfully ‘invade’ the Oscars and possibly walk away with a Best Picture — or at least Best Director — nomination. Of course, as the 2017 nominee announcements showed, that wasn’t the case. So, was Wonder Woman actually snubbed? The short answer is no. While the film was entertaining and proved to be an exciting new step forward for DC’s slate of films, Wonder Woman wasn’t without it’s issues.
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