Warner Bros. is reportedly planning an Oscar campaign for Wonder Woman, targeting best picture and director nominations for Patty Jenkins’ film. The studio officially launched their DC Extended Universe last spring with Zack Snyder’s Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice and while the film wasn’t wholly well received by critics, it was a success at the box office. The second DCEU installment of 2016 – David Ayer’s Suicide Squad – was a similar story, with even poorer reviews than Batman V Superman, but a sizable box office haul. As such, many looked to Jenkins’ Wonder Woman to be the first DCEU movie that was a hit with critics and moviegoers alike.
That turned out to be the case when Wonder Woman debuted in theaters earlier this summer, earning positive reviews from critics and becoming the highest grossing film directed by a woman. Wonder Woman has since gone on to become the highest grossing DCEU movie at the U.S. box office, and is second to only Batman V Superman when both films’ international hauls are taken into account. Given its success, Warner Bros. has since announced a sequel to Wonder Woman, and given it a 2019 release date. Now, the studio is reportedly planning to campaign for Wonder Woman to break even more new ground.
Variety is reporting Warner Bros. executives have discussed a “formidable” awards season campaign for Wonder Woman with the aim of it becoming the first comic book movie to earn the best picture nomination. The studio is also vying for Jenkins to land a nomination for the best director category. Warner Bros. has yet to officially comment on their Oscar campaign.
As the comic book superhero film genre has massively grown in the recent decade, many have speculated about when the blockbuster franchise installments would receive Oscar recognition. Certainly, comic book films have received plenty of nominations in the past, and even taken home their own golden statues some years, but largely for technical categories like visual effects and art direction. Warner Bros’ Suicide Squad took home the Academy Award earlier this year for Best Makeup and Hairstyling. But it’s rare that comic book movies are nominated, let alone win, in the bigger categories. Notable exceptions include Heath Ledger’s posthumous winning of Best Supporting Actor for his turn as the Joker in Christopher Nolan’s The Dark Knight, and Disney’s Big Hero 6 winning Best Animated Feature.
Still, with more and more critically beloved and successful comic book-based superhero films hitting theaters each year, many believe it’s past time for the genre to receive recognition from the Academy. In fact, Deadpool sustained an impressive awards season push last year, while eyes have turned to fellow X-Men universe release Logan for next year’s Oscars. However, Warner Bros’ reported plan for Wonder Woman seems to make it the most likely contender to land the title of first comic book superhero film to be nominated for best picture.
All that said, this is still an unofficial report, so it remains to be seen what exactly Warner Bros, has planned for this year’s awards season. Certainly, Wonder Woman seems to be a shoo-in for a number of the Academy Awards’ technical categories, but Jenkins’ DCEU entry also appears to be a serious contender for bigger categories like best picture and director. So, we’ll see how the Oscar nominations shake out – though not until early next year.
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