Michael B. Jordan would be honored if Black Panther wins an Oscar, but says that its impact overall will still be its biggest success. Collaborating with director Ryan Coogler for the third time after working with him on Fruitvale Station and Creed, the actor played the Marvel film's main antagonist - N'Jadaka/Erik "Killmonger" Stevens - opposite Chadwick Boseman's T'Challa
Black Panther is Jordan's second comic book film venture, following his stint as Johnny Storm/Human Torch in 2015's The Fantastic Four. And he couldn't bounce back better than via the critically-acclaimed MCU installment. Jordan's performance as Killmonger was one of the movie's highlights, with people lauding the character as one of the best MCU villains so far thanks to his compelling motivation (despite ultimately disagreeing with his methods). With Black Panther receiving so much acclaim, many are convinced that it has a good chance of winning an Oscar, but for Jordan, anything beyond how much the film resonated with a lot of people is just a bonus.
Speaking with Essence recently, the actor was asked about Black Panther's chances of nabbing an Academy Award this year. While Jordan says he's excited about the possibility, he shares that the film's massive cultural effect is still its biggest achievement for him.
The movie has done such a great job, broke through so many glass ceilings, and made such an impact culturally and around the world. If the Academy chooses to recognize that project for all of those reasons that’s amazing icing on the cake, but I think what the movie has done so far is truly incredible and a win all its own. I felt so accomplished doing this movie, but it’s not up to me to validate the film. So the people who make those decisions, that’s something they have to think about and figure out on their own.
Jordan's not wrong. Black Panther's success ushered Hollywood in the right direction when it comes to representation in the industry, and that will be far more important than getting an accolade from any award-giving body. That said, it wouldn't hurt if it nabs some hardware during the upcoming awards season, especially since it was a well-made movie deserving of acknowledgment. Winning an Academy Award will also only help the cause by further proving that diversity is nothing but a good thing, hopefully motivating producers and studios to give more stories like the Coogler-directed movie the opportunity to be told.
Marvel Studios, for their part, is doing the work to ensure that the film gets at least a nomination for this year's Best Picture - even hiring Oscar strategist Cynthia Swartz for the campaign. The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences initially added the Popular Film Oscar category earlier this year, which would've given blockbusters like Black Panther a chance to nab a non-technical award. The organization backpedaled on the decision due to massive backlash. That said, they remain open to the possibility of eventually incorporating the category to help the televised award ceremony increase ratings.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 05, 2019