Black Panther’s still aiming for best picture despite the popular film category


Even with the newly added popular film category for the Oscars, Marvel and Disney are making the push to have Black Panther win best picture.

When the Academy announced the news that it’d be releasing a brand new “popular film” category last month, everyone seemed to understand the elephant in the room behind this change was Black Panther. It looked like more than a coincidence that the Academy would create a blockbuster-like film category the same year that one of the highest earning, celebrated superhero movies would land on screens.

Regardless of whether or not this category was created for Black Panther, the movie is nonetheless pushing to nab best picture. You know, the regular best picture. Not the short-selling best picture in popular film.

According to the LA Times, Disney brought on Cynthia Swartz, an Oscar strategist who’ll help the Black Panther Oscar campaign. On top of that, the Times reports, “Kevin Feige [is] backing the move with a significant awards season budget, a commitment Marvel has never before made.”

Commenting on the path of Black Panther this awards season, Feige said:

"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."

Despite this new category, some believe that the Academy couldn’t possibly glaze over Black Panther for best picture and throw it in with the popular film crowd. In the report, an Oscars consultant said:

"Right now, I think [academy Chief Executive] Dawn Hudson would crawl in a hole if Black Panther gets snubbed for best picture and winds up landing in the popular film category. The funny thing is that Dawn would be way more disappointed than anyone at Marvel."

So it’s quite possible that the Academy is on the same page with Disney/Marvel in recognizing this film. You can tell by watching it that direct Ryan Coogler put his heart and soul into making it.

That’s something he did with his previous two films as well. After watching Fruitvale Station for the first time (and then again later that day), I couldn’t believe a film that was so emotional and brilliant didn’t get nominated. Creed, too, was equally great a contender for best picture or, at the least, Coogler could have been nominated for best director.

Related Story. Doctor Strange 2 or Black Widow could begin filming in June. light

The Academy has not specifically revealed what kind of films would make it into their popular film category yet. Although, these criteria should have been something they released along with the announcement of the category in the first place. Perhaps it would have saved some of the mass hysteria from movie-lovers that followed the announcement.

No matter what the criteria will be, it seems like it may undercut some good films by putting them into this lesser category. And we certainly wouldn’t want that to happen to Black Panther.