To say that Spider-Man: No Way Home is a success would perhaps be understating things. Tom Holland’s third solo outing as the webhead is a multiverse breaking hit and is currently expected to break $1 billion at the box office by the end of the holiday weekend. But that’s not enough for Marvel, whose movies this year have mostly been pretty good box office successes. They want the gold, baby, they want…an Oscar!
In an interview with the Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and Sony chairman Tom Rothman think the movie deserves a shot at getting a Best Picture nomination, which was only done once previously with Black Panther at the 2019 Oscars. (It lost to Green Book that year, inspiring its star, Mahershala Ali, to ask Marvel if he could be Blade.) Rothman has argued that No Way Home its box office success and being “superb filmmaking” can’t be ignored come awards season. “Quality commerciality is really hard to do…And this is what the Academy needs to stay connected to.” Meanwhile, Feige likened this movie to Return of the King, saying this movie served as “a celebration both of our Homecoming trilogy and and of the five other incarnations of Spider-Man that had happened before.”
Earlier in the month, Feige talked about how he believed the Academy had a bias towards cape films, saying the studio is “always at a deficit because of the Marvel logo and because of a genre bias that certainly exists.” It’s a sentiment that Rothman and co-producer Amy Pascal share, with the latter pointing out that all movies matter, even the ones with costumed weirdoes punching each other in them. Moreover, she’s hoping that because several members of the Academy board grew up with the earlier Spidey films, they’re more likely to give the film its supposed due. “I think it would be wonderful for the Academy to recognize all kinds of movies. And I hope that since there’s a guaranteed 10 movies, and since there’s a whole new membership, maybe they will.”
To help the process along, Sony and Marvel are planning on have an active For Your Consideration campaign, from adding No Way Home to the Academy’s members-only streaming service, to targeted screenings and interviews that these pandemic times will allow. Previously, Marvel tried to get an FYC campaign going for Avengers: Endgame, but the Academy very much said “no” outside of nominating it for visual effects, which it lost to 1917. Given some of the pre-release buzz around Eternals involved director Chloe Zhao blowing Feige’s mind with practical locations and natural lighting, it feels like they were hoping for that one to be their Oscar movie, but then the film kind of fizzled out. But with No Way Home being a box office smash, keeping movie theaters around for the holidays, and just plain delivering fans what they want, the two companies are now putting all their eggs in this basket.
Whether you think there’s a bias against superhero movies at the Oscars (there kind of is, at least for the upper tier awards), the two studios may have eyes bigger than their stomachs on this front. While No Way Home is pretty good, it also isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been done outside of its own genre within the past decade, and the fact that it exists pre-tethered to about ten other films doesn’t do it any favors. The producers and Rothman can argue that No Way Home is about “personal sacrifice” and “the greater good,” but it’s mainly a movie that exists to sell you something—either things you remembered debatably fondly back in the day, or something that’ll hit in another couple of years and sell you another something.
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We’ll find out if the Academy accepts No Way Home as worthy of being nominated for non-technical awards, much less winning any, in the coming months. In the meantime, tell us: do you think the movie is capable or worthy of getting any Oscars, and which?
[via The Hollywood Reporter]
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