Speculation is running rampant — as it does every year — about the Academy Awards. Each year, the films in the visual effects category are narrowed down further and further until the five nominees for the Oscar ballot are arrived at for Academy voting. Focus at the moment is on the 10 semi-finalists for the award that will move on to the next “round” of selection in a few weeks.

Marvel Cinematic Universe supporters know there is one film that should be leading in the category without question: Doctor Strange. Without a doubt the most visually arresting MCU film yet released and a film that the category of Best Visual Effects seems to have been created to specifically highlight! If not Doctor Strange, then WHAT film?

According to speculation in Variety, there are but two films that are a “lock” for a spot on the semi-finalist list, and one of them has been seen by NO ONE yet: Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It is considered a decent prediction as only one of the seven released Star Wars films (Revenge of the Sith) didn’t get a nomination in the visual effects category.

The other “sure thing”, according to the magazine, is The Jungle Book which shines with detailed effects-heavy settings and characters.

While those are the only two that are considered set in stone, Variety does make a point of stressing that Doctor Strange is a ”notable latter-year entry” as it pairs up previous Oscar-nominated effects professionals Stephane Ceretti and Paul Corbould to lead a visual effects studio team that has only had 4 nominations in 14 films. There is little doubt that the film deserves a spot on the list, the report appears to simply be hedging its bets regarding it being a sure thing.

A dark horse speculation for the semi-finalist list is another MCU film that was less cosmic in its effects but had no less impact: Captain America: Civil War. According to the report, the effects were more of the ”Ant-Man variety” but were no less worthy of note, especially with regards to the 10-film semi-finalist list.

So, is the MCU gaining recognition within the Academy? Are comic book films starting to be viewed with more respect? The visual effects category is a good start, but the more mainstream categories would be a better measure. What do you think? Let us know below if you think the effects in either of this year’s MCU films are Oscar-worthy.

Voting for the nominations will close on January 13, with nominations set to be announced on January 24. Final round voting closes February 21, and the Academy Awards will be presented on February 26.

Doctor Strange is currently playing in theaters.

Source: Variety