Logan producer Hutch Parker believes Patrick Stewart, who reprised Charles Xavier for perhaps the final time in this year's blockbuster, is long overdue for recognition from the Oscars. Traditionally, the Academy does not nominate comic book adaptations in the more "prestigious" categories like Best Picture and Best Director. Heath Ledger's posthumous win in Best Supporting Actor for playing the Joker in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight is an exception to the rule, and many are hoping Logan will join those ranks. Fox seems confident in its ability to play for voters, making Logan the first screener they sent to Academy members.
One category where Logan is hoping to break through, keeping in line with the Dark Knight comparison, is Supporting Actor. Patrick Stewart capped off a tremendous run portraying X-Men leader Charles Xavier in the film with a poignant turn that painted the icon in a very different light. Should Fox's campaign prove to be successful, it would mark the first Academy Award nomination for Stewart. That fact surprises Parker, who thinks the actor should have received a nod a long time ago.
Speaking with THR, Parker touched upon Logan's Oscar chances, specifically Stewart's odds, voicing his support for his star:
"I'm realistic about the kind of movie this is, and I'm hopeful that various people in those positions will see it and recognize it — even though it is an R-rated movie, and even though it has a legacy as part of a comic book franchise. I'd love for people to be able to assess the craft on the performances and the work on their own merits... The fact that Patrick has not received those kinds of acknowledgements is astounding to me."
Stewart is a multi-time Emmy and Golden Globe nominee for his work on TV, so he hasn't gone completely unnoticed by various awards bodies. Still, it is a little shocking to know he's yet to hear his name called on Oscar Nominations morning, and there are obviously many fans who would like to see that change. If Fox plays up the "overdue" factor, Stewart could get the "career achievement" nomination the Oscars are so well-known for, but his performance in Logan would certainly be deserving of such merit. Playing a physically and emotionally vulnerable Xavier, Stewart displayed layers of the character we had never seen before, fully committing himself to what is most likely his bittersweet swan song. As Mangold told THR, Stewart "attacked this thing with ferocity," and rode off into the sunset in riveting fashion.
While Stewart (or Logan in general) isn't getting the best odds at this point in awards season, it's always possible he sneaks into the lineup. There are clear frontrunners in Best Supporting Actor this year (namely, Sam Rockwell and Willem Dafoe), but the category is not loaded to the point where Stewart would be completely overshadowed if Fox plays their cards right. Right now, it's a pretty open Oscars race, with Logan and Wonder Woman trying to shake things up and break new ground for the Academy. Time will tell if they're successful, but it won't be for lack of trying.
Logan is now available on digital and Blu-ray.