Marvel Studios Founder Heartbroken That Black Panther Didn’t Win Best Picture

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Black Panther made history earlier this year by being the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Though Ryan Coogler’s film about the King of Wakanda came away with three gongs – Best Costume Design, Best Original Score and Best Production Design – it didn’t manage to break down the door and pick up the most coveted award of the night.

Someone who’s “heartbroken” over BL‘s Oscar loss is former Marvel boss Avi Arad. Before Kevin Feige took over the company, Arad was the founder of Marvel Studios, though he left back in 2006 prior to the advent of the MCU. Though he’s long cut ties with Marvel, Arad’s clearly still a fan of their films and talked to Deadline about his frustration with how the Academy views superhero entertainment.

“I was heartbroken that Black Panther didn’t get the Academy. It could have, but you know, [the voters] they always looked at superheroes like it was a ‘Yabba dabba doo’ kind of a thing versus something that mattered or something that was going to last.”

Arad’s right about the Academy’s typical snobbery over comic book cinema. It seems that a superhero flick has to make a huge cultural impact before it can be considered for what are often seen to be the most important categories. For example, see BL‘s Best Picture nom and Heath Ledger’s posthumous win for Best Supporting Actor for The Dark Knight. 

Still, Black Panther did incredibly well to come away with three Oscars this year, so Marvel Studios will likely be pleased. Plus, Arad himself should be proud, as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which he produced for Sony, won the award for Best Animated Feature.

We’ll have to see if this year’s crop of superhero films – which features the likes of Captain Marvel, Avengers: Endgame and Joker, among others- will beat Black Panther‘s impressive showing at the Academy Awards.