Its only a few days until the 1 year anniversary of the release of Black Panther: the movie that changed the face of superhero movies, and the film industry in general.
It’s apparent Black Panther is still making historical leaps and bounds across the awards circuit, and the Oscars are no exception. Black Panther has garnered the Academy Awards attention, and is the first of its kind to do so. But now as we all know, just because Black Panther has been nominated, doesn’t mean it’s a shoo-in to win— in fact, it’s far from it.
The full creative team behind the blockbuster film still has quite a bit of ways to go in terms of pushing past the stigma that “superhero films aren’t worthy of winning.” This includes marketing the film towards the panelists, sending the cast back on the promo trail, setting up “For Your Consideration” screenings—the list goes on and on.
Even Marvel executive Nate Moore spoke on his surprise at the groundbreaking reaction Black Panther’s made, speaking on how though they would have never thought Black Panther would be considered worthy of Academy Award attention, they knew it would be a superhero film made of more depth than its predecessors (Variety).
With that being said, while it’s true the film has a tough road ahead to winning, it has jumped from 5 to 10 different nomination categories—and critics seem to be enjoying it just as much as the slow-burn dramas that usually win the coveted awards.
Whatever the case may be (and as glorious as it would be if Black Panther did win in any category), the point is that the significance of Black Panther even gaining this much attention proves that its still a force to be reckoned with, and a significant step in the right direction.
Just like Crazy Rich Asians and its cast garnered incredible attention at the Golden Globes, Black Panther’s nomination is particularly refreshing, because it does not fall into the normal stereotypes of drugs, slavery, prostitution, or “black pain” in its narrative, just because it has a majority black and diverse cast.
In fact, Black Panther is Afro-Futurism at its finest. And also a topic and genre that wouldn’t usually wouldn’t receive this much attention or money—as the budget to make Black Panther is usually given to films like Lawrence of Arabia. In addition, Black Panther is in fact not the only black-led superhero film making waves in the Awards circuit.
That’s right! The one and only Miles Morales a.ka. (Head Spidey in Charge) is also getting its own “For Your Consideration” stamped across the film, and is on the radar for Best Animated Feature. This is also a big deal as it is up against two giant Disney films—one of them being another superhero movie, and all of them strong in their own right.
“Yeah, but Spiderverse is a definitely going to win!” You say. Well again, not quite, as we should not forget the Great Moana vs Zootopia snub of 2017 (…a separate rant for another time).
But, again, whether these two amazing films win their category is almost besides the point; the fact that they’ve even received this type of awards recognition is an anomaly. Both are superhero films, both have leading protagonists that are PoC, and both have women who are not just “supporting actresses”, but are essential—if not equal—to the male leads themselves. It goes without saying that these two films could more than likely save the Academy itself.
Especially as the Academy is still coming off the heat of the #OscarsSoWhite, Moonlight controversy, etc.—as well as the rest of the current political stances in the country, having diverse films nominated in multiple categories is a good sign if not just downright needed. Not to mention, as with most of its counterparts, Nielsen ratings have shown that the eyeballs for Award shows are simply not what they use to be. So here’s hoping with fresh and mega film successes like these, people show their support to root for the films that should win!