Marvel Studios has been no stranger to the Oscars conversation. Whether it is bringing on Academy Award-winning talent in their projects, winning hardware themselves, or speaking out against the awards show, the MCU and the Academy Awards have been engaged in this tango of sorts for almost as long as the franchise has existed. With Marvel Studios releasing four theatrical releases in 2021 including Spider-Man: No Way Home, the MCU has a fair number of films that could end up being in contention for Oscar gold.
While comic book movies have received attention at the Oscars, rarely has that come in the form of some of the bigger categories. Projects like Black Panther, Joker, and The Dark Knight broke that mold, but the genre is still searching for proper recognition from the Academy.
And it seems as though for 2021 Marvel Studios will still be on the hunt for that elusive Best Picture award, but they will likely be in the conversation for some other hardware on Hollywood's biggest night.
Marvel Studios Makes the Oscars Shortlist
As reported by Variety, Marvel Studios has four projects on the shortlist for the Academy Awards' "Best Visual Effects" category.
Among the ten projects on the list are Black Widow, Eternals, Shang-Chi, and the recently released Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The full list is as follows:
- “Black Widow” (Marvel Studios)
- “Dune” (Warner Bros)
- “Eternals” (Marvel Studios)
- “Free Guy” (20th Century Studios)
- “Ghostbusters: Afterlife” (Sony Pictures)
- “Godzilla vs. Kong” (Warner Bros)
- “The Matrix Resurrections” (Warner Bros)
- “No Time to Die” (MGM/United Artists Releasing)
- “Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings” (Marvel Studios)
- “Spider-Man: No Way Home” (Sony Pictures)
Additionally, Spider-Man: No Way Home made its way on the shortlist for "Best Sound" alongside movies like Tick, Tick … Boom! and West Side Story/
The MCU Headed for More Oscar Gold
If one of these four titles does make it past the shortlist stage, this will mark the tenth time since 2009 that Marvel Studios and the MCU have been nominated in the Visual Effects category at the Oscars. But even with all these noms, the franchise is still yet to win in the category.
Even titles like Doctor Strange and Guardians of the Galaxy, who were both nominated, failed to secure the golden statue on Oscar night. However, 2021 may be Marvel Studio's lucky year.
Something like Shang-Chi is right up the Academy's alley for a category like this. Not only did the film depict the visually stunning fictitious land of Ta Lo, but it also incorporated VFX elements into its action. The martial arts fight scene from the project mixed practical moves done by the actors with computer-generated elements seamlessly, in some cases actually adding to the emotional weight of the scene. So if Marvel is going to take home gold in this category, Shang-Chi is likely the project they would do it for.
The two biggest hurdles for Marvel Studios to get over in this category (if they are ultimately even nominated) will be No Time to Die and Denis Villeneuve's Dune. The Academy has been known to award legacy titles such as Bond in categories such as this, so if No Time to Die were to snuff out Marvel's fun, it would not be all that surprising.
And taking a look at Dune, the sci-fi epic has been heralded for its visual effects since the first trailer debuted months ago. Dune deals with VFX on a scale almost never seen before.
With both Dune and Bond in mind, MCU fans should not get their hopes up that Marvel Studios will snag any hardware on Oscar night in March 2022. And if the award does go Marvel's way, enjoy the moment because it doesn't come often.