Chadwick Boseman Says Black Panther’s Gunning For A Best Picture Oscar


With the addition of the Best Popular Film category – which will honor “outstanding achievement” in blockbuster and genre cinema – AMPAS has (reluctantly) welcomed the ever-expanding realm of comic book movies into award season, and Ryan Coogler’s Black Panther appears to be the frontrunner.

While on the whole it’s been an epoch-making year at the box office for superhero film, Panther stood out from the rest. The eighteenth entry into the Marvel Cinematic Universe became the first African-American feature to earn more than $1 billion, and only the third movie ever to surpass $700 million at the domestic box office, behind Avatar ($760M) and Star Wars: The Force Awakens ($936M).

The holder of an A+ CinemaScore and a 97% Certified Fresh rating on the Tomatometer, there’s a strong possibility that on Sunday, February 24th, the inaugural Best Popular Film Oscar will be awarded to Black Panther. According to star Chadwick Boseman, however, the new category is of little consequence to him:

“We don’t know what it is, so I don’t know whether to be happy about it or not. What I can say is that there’s no campaign [that we are mounting] for popular film; like, if there’s a campaign, it’s for best picture, and that’s all there is to it.”

Boseman then went on to clarify what, exactly, should constitute a good movie, and here’s what the actor had to say:

“A good movie is a good movie. And clearly, it doesn’t matter how much money a movie makes in order for it to be ‘a good movie’ [in the minds of Academy members] because if [it did], the movies that get nominated and win wouldn’t get nominated. And if it doesn’t matter, it doesn’t matter on both sides. For my money, the only thing that matters is the level of difficulty.”

Although the optimism displayed by Boseman is admirable, seeing as the financial and critical success of the MCU has yet to translate into Oscar gold, it’ll be tough sledding for the comic book juggernaut to convince the Academy otherwise. That said, the studio’s preparing a huge Oscar push for Black Panther, so maybe it is indeed their year.