Oscar season is upon on us, and one of the major surprises among today’s announced nominees is that Logan has been nominated for the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay. Year after year, Oscar announcements always seem to bring with it their share of controversy, and 2018 won’t likely buck the trend. It’s looking like the two most notable snubs of this year will be James Franco and Wonder Woman, who were perceived as frontrunners for Best Actor and Best Picture (or, well, something) respectively. Alas, it appears that Franco has been felled by the recent sexual assault allegations leveled against him, though there’s only one clear explanation for Wonder Woman‘s snubbing: it’s a comic book film.
The superhero movie genre has gone notoriously unappreciated by the Academy for years now, despite the clear uptick in quality it’s experienced over the last decade or so. With the notable exception of Heath Ledger winning Best Supporting Actor for playing the Joker in The Dark Knight, comic book flicks just don’t make any noise at the Academy Awards outside of technical categories like Best Visual Effects, Makeup, and Sound. But while Wonder Woman fans aren’t feeling even a modicum of love this Oscar season, another superhero movie is making history.
Hugh Jackman’s ninth (and supposedly final) turn sporting the adamantium claws of Wolverine is now in line to receive even more critical acclaim than it already has. In a surprising move, Logan has been nominated for an Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay, making it the first comic book movie ever to receive such an honor. Scott Frank, Michael Green, and James Mangold (who also directed the film) have been named in the category.
We’ll dive deeper into what this means for the superhero genre later on, but obviously, this could prove to be a gamechanger. Even if Mangold, Frank, and Green don’t end up winning, this is the highest level of recognition a comic book movie has received in years. Whether or not this means that the Academy is finally warming up to the genre in general remains to be seen.
Though there are plenty of deserving candidates among this year’s Best Adapted Screenplay nominees — the screenwriters behind Call Me By Your Name, The Disaster Artist, Molly’s Game, and Mudbound were also nominated — the category doesn’t really have a clearcut favorite, either. It’s entirely possible that Hugh Jackman may get an opportunity to take one more (well deserved) victory lap, after all.
Dream scenario: he’s invited up on stage to accept the award alongside the film’s writers, and he does it while wearing Wolverine’s yellow and blue suit for once.
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