Film purists around the world got into a tizzy earlier this month upon the news that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences decided to add a new category to the Oscars in 2019: “Best Popular Film,” which honors blockbusters and popcorn-movies that would otherwise likely be eschewed at the ceremony. Black Panther, a box office and critical success, seemed primed to win the category, as the academy has historically shunned superhero fare for Best Picture — none, not even The Dark Knight, have ever been nominated. But Marvel is saying hell no to this second-rate “popular” nonsense. Per a new Los Angeles Times report, for the first time ever, Marvel has hired a veteran Oscars strategist to lead Black Panther’s campaign for Best Picture success. Additionally, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige is giving the film a “significant” awards season budget to spend before the February ceremony.
“Right now, I think [academy Chief Executive] Dawn Hudson would crawl in a hole if Black Panther gets snubbed for best picture and winds up landing in the popular film category,” one anonymous Oscars consultant, rather humorously, told the Times. “The funny thing is that Dawn would be way more disappointed than anyone at Marvel.” Added Feige, thinking about the chances of nabbing a Best Picture nom: “I think it would be wonderful.” When the nominees are revealed in the winter, we’ll see if it pays off.