Turns out superheroes can win the favor of the Academy!
Black Panther continued to make history on Tuesday, becoming the first superhero movie to receive an Oscar nomination in the coveted Best Picture category. And that’s not all, as Marvel’s smash hit was nominated for seven Oscars total, including Best Original Song and Best Original Score.
The Chadwick Boseman-led blockbuster has already garnered massive praise this awards season, including nominations from the Critics’ Choice Awards, SAG, BAFTAs and a history-making Golden Globe nomination. (It was similarly the first superhero movie to earn the Globes’ Best Drama nomination.)
Black Panther claimed a few prizes along the way, too, winning the Critics’ Choice Awards for Best Costume Design, Best Production Design and Best Visual Effects and being named one of AFI’s Movies of the Year.
Although superhero films have been nominated (and even won) a few Academy Awards in technical categories like Best Sound and Visual Effects, the biggest night in Hollywood tends to sidestep the vigilante-filled genre, with a few exceptions. In 2018, James Mangold and Michael Green broke ground with a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination for the forever-underrated film, Logan.
And let’s not forget that in 2009, Heath Ledger won a posthumous Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his chilling portrayal of the comic book world’s most notorious villain — the Joker — in The Dark Knight. In total, Christopher Nolan’s Batman epic picked up eight nominations, but missed out on Best Picture. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman, which was buzzed about as a potential Oscar contender, was passed over completely.
It makes sense that Black Panther is the first, considering it not only dominated the box office — bringing in $1.3 billion worldwide including $700 million domestically, making it the biggest film of 2018 in the U.S. and proving without a doubt that audiences around the world will pay to see a huge tentpole fronted by an all-black cast — but became a cultural movement. And that’s certainly Best Picture material.
The 91st Annual Academy Awards will air on ABC on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 6:30 p.m. ET / 3:30 p.m. PT, live from the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood.