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Marvel Working to Secure "Best Picture" Nomination for BLACK PANTHER

Image of Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa / Black Panther in Black Panther movie
Black Panther (2018) - T'Challa / Black Panther (Chadwick Boseman), N'Jadaka / Erik "Killmonger" Stevens (Michael B. Jordan)

Marvel wants "Black Panther" to win a "Best Picture" nomination and isn't settling for "Best Popular Film". LA Times has a piece explaining how Marvel has a plan to get a "Best Picture" nod for "Black Panther".

The article says Disney hired veteran Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz to "orchestrate a campaign" to get Ryan Coogler's movie an Oscar nomination. She's working with Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige with a "significant awards season budget", apparently larger than any Marvel has done before.

Hanging over the head of the studio is the derided "Popular Films" category. "Black Panther" became the third highest grossing movie ever in the U.S. and brought in $1.35 billion worldwide. That definitely qualifies as "Popular" but Marvel has their sights set higher.

“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,’ ” Feige said. “And that he did it so unbelievably well and with so much impact … seeing that potentially being recognized is what excites me the most.”

It's the "personal" nature of Coogler's film that would be the best way in for a "Best Picture" nomination. He directed and co-wrote the film and included many personal touches and life experiences like Oakland, California.

The movie is more than just a "superhero film". It's an expression of decades of historical context across two continents. It resonates with Africans and African-Americans. Black Panther rightfully carved out a notch in popular culture as an underrepresented group. 

That alone makes it worthy of "Best Picture". It's more important to cinematic history than any film made over the last two decades.

“You want to remind voters that this wasn’t just a movie, it was a phenomenon,” one veteran Oscar campaigner told LA Times. “The depth of that impact, what it meant to people, what it stood for — if academy members didn’t get it then, they need to understand it now.”

“People in the academy want to reward good movies,” another consultant added, “and they also want to reward movies that say something significant and make the industry look good. ‘Black Panther’ ticks off those boxes.”

Cinematographer Rachel Morrison is already the first woman to earn an Oscar nomination for Cinematography for “Mudbound”. Considering she has a history as an Oscar winner and the amazing work she did for the film it's a slam dunk for this category.

Production designer Hannah Beachler created a dazzling look for "Black Panther". Plus she fought hard for the look of the movie. “I definitely watched some of the films and it was not how I wanted ours to look,” she told Vanity Fair, adding that she "campaigned to stop shooting action sequences when the weather changed and to move to interior locations". “I didn’t always win. When I didn’t, we would take out every big [light] and turn the cloudy days sunny. We took the time to just try and get some contrast going, which is not something they usually do.”

Costume designer Ruth E. Carter looked deep into African culture to make this film. I've already shared a long list of African tribes that inspired the costumes. The Academy loves costumes from films that are rich and expansive. Genre movies like "Mad Max: Fury Road" and Coleen Atwood's work on "Alice in Wonderland" are good examples.

Plus, there are lots of other opportunities like Best Director, Best Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Mixing, Best Visual Effects, Best Original Score and Best Original Song.

Marvel has never won a "Best Picture" nomination but this could be the year. They've never been closer.

Do you think Marvel will be nominated for "Best Picture?

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