Marvel Studios CCO Kevin Feige has become one of the biggest names in Hollywood over the past decade and change. Heck, that's what happens when someone holds the keys to the biggest money-making machines in movie history. And it hasn't even just been about the incredible profits that the MCU has turned out, with Feige being one of the prominent figures in legitimizing comic book movies as a genre.
The MCU figurehead has been a part of Marvel movie-making for years but really took over the reins with 2008's Iron Man. The captain of the Marvel Studios ship has received accolades for nearly every aspect of his work, except when it comes to the Academy Awards.
The comic book movie genre history at the Oscars has been fairly lackluster. Marvel Studios has gotten some attention from the Academy with projects like Black Panther being nominated for "Best Picture" and winning for its score and costume design, but the studio is still hunting for its first major category win.
And according to Feige, it will continue to be an uphill battle towards more Academy honors fairly come to comic book projects.
The Oscars Hate Marvel?
In a recent interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Marvel Studios Chief Creative Officer Kevin Feige addressed what he called a "genre bias" towards comic book movies at the Oscars.
Feige said that the MCU will "always at a deficit because of the Marvel logo" and that he wishes the "hard work... [would] get recognized:”
“I think we are always at a deficit because of the Marvel logo and because of a genre bias that certainly exists. I just loved that for a shining moment there with Black Panther that was put aside and the work was recognized for the achievement that it was... There are a lot of comic fans that didn’t know who Shang-Chi was. And yet the work that Destin did and Dave did and Sue did and Joel did, created something new that connected with audiences,” says Feige. “We recognized it, the audience recognized it and I sure would love the hard work of all of these people who are telling their story to get recognized.”
Feige Puts it All on the Line
When Kevin Feige speaks, people listen, and he surely knows the smoking gun he is firing by calling out an institution like the Academy. While it is not unheard of for a superhero project to receive recognition at award shows (ie The Dark Knight), those seem to be the exception rather than the rule.
The prospects of a Marvel "Best Picture" winner may seem bleak, but if they continue with the solid output of projects as they have for the past few years, it is sure to eventually happen, right?
But who knows? It feels like Marvel Studios and Feige made a big bet in this year's Eternals by bringing in a now Oscar-winning director in Chloe Zhao, and that movie is not getting the awards buzz the studio had surely hoped for when they signed Zhao on.
Another example of this comes in the form of Robert Downey Jr. The MCU icon was never recognized for his acting in the franchise, despite fans campaigning for him after the release of Avengers: Endgame.
That is the tricky part though. If one were to poll film critics asking what are the objectively best awards-worthy MCU movies, they would likely say classics like Endgame, Infinity War, Black Panther, and Captain America: Winter Soldier. And if those didn't take home the big prize, then what will? Could a movie ever possibly topple these certified bangers?
That is the exciting part of such consistently stellar output from Marvel. Every time that Marvel Studios logo shows up on-screen, fans never know if the MCU's latest will be their new favorite.