Two weeks ago, the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences announced plans to overhaul its annual Oscar ceremony, beginning with the newfangled ‘Popular Film’ category for comic book movies and other big-budget blockbusters.
In theory, it should allow for the likes of Black Panther, Avengers: Infinity War and Star Wars: The Last Jedi to compete for an Oscar, though it didn’t take long for the Internet to write off the ‘Best Popular Film’ award as a shallow participation trophy.
The Best Picture Oscar has and always will be revered as cinema’s ultimate prize, so it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige is still planning a “significant” Oscar campaign for Black Panther.
Via The Los Angeles Times:
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.’ And that he did it so unbelievably well and with so much impact… seeing that potentially being recognized is what excites me the most.
For Black Panther to be recognized solely for its popularity, rather than artistic merit and all of the cinematic excellence on display in Ryan Coogler’s Afrocentric film, is almost unthinkable, so we’re hoping that The Academy stands up and takes notice – even if it’s a Best Picture nomination.
Because make no mistake, Black Panther was historic in every sense of the word, so it’s only fitting that Marvel’s standalone adventure is honored for something other than box office receipts and… popularity.