Aquaman Director James Wan Slams Academy For VFX Oscar Snub


When it comes to awards season potential, the new Aquaman movie isn’t exactly Black Panther, but it still came as a surprise to learn that the feature hadn’t made the Oscar shortlist for Best Visual Effects after an abundance of fans, critics and industry insiders had offered kind words on the underwater spectacle of the DCEU’s latest release.

As it turns out, director James Wan isn’t too pleased himself to see that the efforts of his FX team haven’t been recognized, and in a Facebook message responding to Aquaman visual effects supervisor Kelvin McIlwain, the filmmaker slammed the Academy for their oversight:

“Kelvin, you and your department are the unsung heroes of this film. The fact that your VFX peers in the Academy aren’t recognizing or appreciating what we/you’ve all contributed to the film and cinema is a fucking disgrace.”

Though the Academy has a long history of ignoring superhero movies for high-profile categories like Best Picture and Best Director, the genre tends to fare significantly better in the VFX race, with Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War, and Ant-Man and the Wasp all making this year’s shortlist. In fact, for every year bar one since 2012’s The Avengers, an MCU film has landed a nomination, and chances are that 2019 will be no different.

But while Aquaman may have no presence at this year’s ceremony, it’s hard to feel too sorry for a movie that currently sits at $846.3 million at the global box office. At this rate, the film is well on its way to overtaking Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice to become the highest grossing DCEU entry so far,  and while it won’t rank so high in domestic gross, you can still expect the flick to stay number one at the North American box office until Glass comes out on January 18th.

In short, Aquaman is doing just fine without awards recognition, but you can expect the FX team to get another chance at impressing the Academy when the inevitable sequel comes out.