Marvel Is Pushing for 'Black Panther' to Win 'Best Picture' Despite Oscar's New 'Popular Film' Category
The studio wants 'Black Panther' to become its first Oscar-winning movie, and is putting major support behind making it happen.
Despite the Academy's introduction of the "Best Popular Film" Oscar category, Marvel Studios is still pushing for Back Panther to earn the coveted "Best Picture" title at the 2019 Oscars.
The decision to create the "Best Popular Film" category earlier this month fell under scrutiny by many critics that felt it was a mere consolation prize, intended as a pat on the back for mainstream, commercially successful films like Black Panther, which the Academy deems not quite worthy enough of earning "Best Picture"—the biggest award of the night.
Disney Studios, however, is making major moves to ensure that Black Panther has a fair chance of taking home the award. According to the LA Times, the studio has hired Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz to create a campaign for the record-shattering super hero film—the third highest grossing movie of all time in the US—and has put significant funding behind the campaign.
For Marvel head Kevin Feige, one motivation for Black Panther earning the nomination—besides the increased profit and accolades it would bring the studio, of course—is the rightful acknowledgment of director Ryan Coogler's unique vision and groundbreaking execution, which led to the film having immense cultural impact.
He was quoted in the LA Times as saying:
"I would like to see the hard work and the effort and the vision and the belief of the talented filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who sat across the table from us a few years ago and said, 'I have been wrestling with questions about my past and my heritage and I think I really want to tell a story within this movie,' " Feige said. "And that he did it so unbelievably well and with so much impact … seeing that potentially being recognized is what excites me the most."
The Oscars, infamously known for being "so white," is also known for ignoring superhero films outside of technical categories. If Black Panther were to win "Best Picture" it would not only make is the first superhero film to do so, but it would also be Marvel's first Oscar-winning film ever.
Last week, it was announced that Black Panther will be coming to Netflix in the US this September.