The MCU doesn’t exactly scream “Academy Awards,” but as critical acclaim and box office returns increase for superhero films, studios hope that the Academy will take the subgenre seriously one day. And it’s certainly a strong year for superhero films, not even just from Marvel Studios. Warner Bros. and DC Films are making a strong push for Wonder Woman, and Fox sent out screeners of Logan. Now, Disney is beginning their “For Your Consideration” campaigns for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and Thor: Ragnarok.
Disney is gunning for the major categories, with the studio campaigning for Best Picture (Kevin Feige for both), Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, Disney hopes for both films to be considered for the technical and craft categories, which arguably the MCU films have a better chance for (most recently, Doctor Strange was nominated for Best Visual Effects in the last ceremony).
On the Guardians side, we have James Gunn under Best Director, Chris Pratt for Best Actor, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Sylvester Stallone and Kurt Russell for Best Supporting Actor, and Zoe Saldana, Karen Gillan and Pom Klementieff for Best Supporting Actress. Additionally, Disney is banking on a Best Original Song nomination for the 70s-inspired disco song “Guardians Inferno,” which features David Hasselhoff.
In Ragnarok-land, there’s Taika Waititi for Best Director, Chris Hemsworth for Best Actor, Tom Hiddleston, Mark Ruffalo and Jeff Goldblum for Best Supporting Actor, and Cate Blanchett and Tessa Thompson for Best Supporting Actress. Slightly surprising that they didn’t throw Anthony Hopkins or Idris Elba into the mix.
But it’s all standard procedure for big studios to have these absurdly long lists out there—Doctor Strange had a “FYC” campaign page, but all it came out with was a single nomination. Heck, Paramount Pictures does this with the Transformers films. But Thor: Ragnarok in particular is being marketed as the best-reviewed Marvel Studios film, and looking at Rotten Tomatoes scores, it’s one of the best-reviewed blockbusters of the year. The only thing really stopping the Academy is their aversion to superhero films—we imagine many are still bitter over The Dark Knight nearly a decade later. Meanwhile, we’ll cross our fingers that at least the technicians, artists and craftspeople will get some sort of recognition.
The big awards are nothing but a fever dream at the moment—but the MCU has to catch up with Suicide Squad eventually.