Most Oscar mavens know that the reason the Academy Awards decided to expand the Best Picture category in 2009 was so it could accommodate between five and 10 nominees. The switch came about after the outcry of fans when “The Dark Knight,” 2008’s highest-grossing film and one of the year’s most acclaimed, didn’t make the cut. The first sequel in the “Batman” franchise directed by Christopher Nolan and starring Christian Bale did win a posthumous Oscar for Heath Ledger for his performance as the Joker as well as a trophy for sound editing — along with six other nods in technical categories.
But no comic-book adventure has yet been able to sneak into the main event, Best Picture.
A decade later, however, there is a slight glimmer of hope for superhero fans now that the Golden Globes have announced their nominations. That is because Ryan Coogler’s massively popular “Black Panther” has made history as the first comic-book adventure to compete in the Best Drama category. Not only that, it has nominations for song (“All the Stars”) and score, too.
True, ‘Deadpool” and its comical potty-mouthed anti-hero muscled their way into the Best Comedy or Musical line-up at the Globes last year, both as best picture and actor in the form of Ryan Reynolds. But the drama category carries a little more weight and could open the door for more such nominations to come.
Next week might be the true pre-Oscar nomination litmus test when the Screen Actors Guild announces its nominees on December 11. If the “ Black Panther” with its expansively talent cast including Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Daniel Kaluuya, Sterling K. Brown and Angela Bassett is up for Best Ensemble – SAG’s answer to Best Picture – I am guessing the Oscars will find a spot for it in its most coveted category.
Right now, the collective voters on the Gold Derby site rank “Panther” No. 7 among SAG ensemble hopefuls and No. 6 among the Academy Awards best pic candidates.
Be sure to check out how our experts rank this year’s Oscar contenders. Then take a look at the most up-to-date combined odds before you make your own Oscar predictions. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before nominations are announced on January 22.