Even in our oversaturated world of superhero movies, there’s no denying that 2018’s Black Panther was a cultural sensation. Ryan Coogler’s afrofuturistic blockbuster built an enormous amount of hype until its February release, resulting in widespread critical acclaim and smashing box office records. It’s clear that audiences saw Black Panther as a source of positive representation in its now-iconic characters and cultural themes that connect to the modern world. Thus, much like a lot of comic book movies in recent memory, Black Panther’s success has gotten people talking that it deserves recognition from the Academy Awards.
This sentiment has been shared by Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige, who expressed hope that the film would be nominated for certain award departments. In a recent interview with Vox, Feige said the following: “I think there are a lot of amazing artists that helped to make that movie, and it would be wonderful if they could be recognized. Almost everyone involved in that movie, bringing that movie together, is great, and it would be wonderful to see if they’re recognized. We’ll see. This genre, typically not.”
Despite the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s juggernaut success, comic book movies still struggle to win nominations at the Academy Awards. There have been a few achievements, most notably Heath Ledger’s post-humous award for his performance in The Dark Knight, but for the most part these films are dismissed in favor of more mainstream genre films. Perhaps this year things will be different and Black Panther will do what Wonder Woman and Logan could not: be nominated for Best Picture.