Even with the new category of “Popular Film,” it is no surprise that “Black Panther” will still receive a Best Picture push from Marvel. The new category seemed built to ensure “Black Panther” will be nominated for an Oscar. Thankfully, Kevin Feige doesn’t want to settle. According to several sources, Feige has already set up a “significant” awards seasons budget to keep the film in the public eye.
Even without “Popular Film,” there was little doubt that “Black Panther” would be present on Oscar night. It is considered by many to be the frontrunner in Costume Design, as well as a lock to receive at least one song nomination. Considering the boom that Kendrick Lamar received this past year, that is not surprising. There should be support for some of the other crafts as well. Production Design, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing, and Cinematography all stood out for the film. If the film becomes a below-the-line behemoth, Ryan Coogler could pull a George Miller and find himself in the director lineup. With all this said, the Best Picture push is a must for “Black Panther.” Michael B. Jordan and Chadwick Boseman could potentially find their way into the race as well.
At the same time, there is a no-lose position facing Feige and Disney. If “Black Panther” doesn’t make it, expect audiences to lose their minds at this point. If the new category results in a “Black Panther” snub, expect anger. The popular film category becomes a consolation prize in this light. As of now, a film can contend for both awards, so it would be frankly irresponsible of Marvel to not go for gold at this point.