In a way, ‘Black Panther’ has already been to the Oscars. The March ceremony saw much of the film’s cast at the Academy Awards. At that time, the movie was already a few weeks in theaters, with Jimmy Kimmel saying:
This is a night for positivity and our plan is to shine a light on a group of outstanding and inspiring films, each and every one of which got crushed by ‘Black Panther’ this weekend.
As Hollywood’s golden-statue awards season approaches, ‘Black Panther’ is set to return to the Academy, but this time as a major nominee. Ryan Coogler’s movie has already nicked numerous records and set new marks for inclusivity.
This year’s contenders are all screened by now, and ‘Black Panther’ is comfortably sitting a Best Picture nominee. In fact, the Hollywood Reporter awards analyst, Scott Feinberg, placed the movie in fifth place, behind ‘A Star Is Born’,’Roma’,’Green Book’, and ‘The Favourite.’
Of course, unless something really drastic happens, ‘Black Panther’ will become the first comic book film to be nominated for best picture. This is great news since it’s changing the way how bigger movies meant bigger ratings.
For the ‘Black Panther’ makers, this is a new chapter for a film, with more than $1.3 billion in ticket sales, and the biggest box-office hit ever directed by a black man, the movie has already hit the record books. Talking about what he thinks of ‘Black Panther’ as an Oscar movie, Coogler said:
Fortunately, I don’t have to think about it that much. I’ve grown to have close relationships with my collaborators, so I care about the craftspeople who work on the film and the actors who work on the film.
Because of those relationships, I’m happy when they’re happy. It’s always nice when people are recognized for their work. But beyond that, I really don’t worry about it.
But hear me out, very few movies will be watched more closely throughout the Oscar awards season than ‘Black Panther’, which will also be running for Ruth Carter’s costume design, the cinematography of Rachel Morrison who became the first woman nominated in the category, Hannah Beachler’s production design, Coogler’s direction, the script written by Joe Robert Cole and Coogler, Kendrick Lamar’s song called ‘All the Stars’ and Michael B. Jordan’s supporting performance.
Although superhero movies have dominated screens for the last decade, the Oscars have refused to let them in. It was ten years ago that ‘The Dark Night’ earned eight nominations but missed the best picture award, helping the film academy to expand the category the following year.
See the video below:
A lot of members of the Academy have resented how superheroes came to dominate the industry, but lately, there have been signals that this feeling is fading. While ‘Wonder Woman’ failed to earn the likes of the members last year, ‘Logan’ became the first superhero movie to be nominated for Best Adapted Screenplay. This year, the Best Animated Film may also see superheroes such as ‘Incredibles 2’ and ‘Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse’.
For Coogler, making ‘Black Panther’ could not be more personal as it was a journey to find his own connection of Africa. During the script development, he visited South Africa, Kenya, and the Kingdom of Lesotho. Regarding his journey, he said:
In simple terms, the film is what brought me to the continent. It was kind of a lifelong thing just to get there and see it. The thing that I found was a sense of identity as an African person.
I found in those trips and through that research a definition for myself of what it means to be African. That was a question I was seeking as a filmmaker.
Black Panther has been called as a ‘defining moment for Black America’. Theaters were rented out and it remained the number 1 film at the U.S box office for five weeks straight as parents took their kids and vice versa to what we would call a groundbreaking generational event. Coogler explained:
We always saw it as a film to watch with your loved ones, with your friends, and with strangers, in communal settings. People are still interested in doing that and it feels fortunate.
You might also want to read: Black Panther Goes On To Become Fourth Movie To Ever Gross Over $100 Million In Its Second Frame