Marvel is seemingly taking the first steps towards giving Avengers: Endgame a massive Oscars push. For years, the Academy largely ignored comic book adaptations in the major categories, with exceptions like Heath Ledger's Best Supporting Actor win and Logan's Best Adapted Screenplay nomination few and far between. This year, however, a new benchmark was cleared when Ryan Coogler's Black Panther was one of eight nominees for Best Picture at the 91st Academy Awards, becoming the first superhero movie to be recognized for the top honor.
Black Panther may not have won Best Picture, but its nomination was still a significant development and illustrated the Academy, bolstered by their new membership, could be accepting of exemplary genre fare. So now the question is which comic book movie will be the second to crash the Oscar party? If Marvel has their way, they'll be campaigning for another one of their record-breaking blockbusters for the 2020 Oscars.
According to Fandango's Erik Davis, an Endgame screening for Academy members took place this week. While it's not out of the ordinary for studios to showcase their films to voters, Davis interpreted this as the beginnings of a "major Oscar push" for the latest Avengers film.
Between the enthusiastic audience reactions and downright baffling record-shattering box office numbers, it's clear Endgame is not a typical tentpole, or even a normal Marvel movie. It's the culmination of 11 years and 22 films of interconnected storytelling, something that had never been attempted in the film industry before. Kevin Feige rolled the dice when he moved forward with his master plan to bring Earth's Mightiest Heroes together on the big screen, and he ultimately revolutionized franchise building. When viewed through that prism, a compelling case can be made that Feige, as producer, deserves some kind of recognition. It'd be similar to The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King winning Best Picture, commemorating a generation-defining cinematic accomplishment. There are some key differences between the two scenarios, but that could be the play Marvel tries to make here.
Campaigning for a film is one thing, but actually securing a nomination is a whole other conversation. In order to land one of the Best Picture slots, a movie needs to receive at least 5 percent of first place votes during the initial balloting phase, and it remains to be seen if Endgame can pull that off - especially with a number of other would-be contenders vying for spots. It's great that the sociopolitical relevant Black Panther was able to appeal to voters, though selling them on a sprawling (somewhat convoluted) time travel narrative is something else. Maybe the Academy will surprise fans, but right now the safe money would be on Avengers: Endgame competing primarily for the technical categories.
Source: Erik Davis
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