Even though 2021 is over, Hollywood's awards season has only just begun; and fortunately, it has more to work with this year despite the challenges of the ongoing pandemic. However, one of the challenges that "Oscar-worthy" cinema didn't expect to face this year is competition in the form of a film that seems to have none - Sony and Marvel's Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Even though comic book films like Spider-Man: No Way Home and Avengers: Endgame drive the box office, their genre is typically underrepresented during Hollywood's award season due to what Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige calls "genre bias."
However, due to the critical, financial, and record-breaking success of No Way Home, winning at the box office is no longer sufficient for Marvel and Sony. Instead, both studios have set their sights on the Academy Awards and the top prize of Best Picture.
Sony Launches Spider-Man: No Way Home Campaign
On the heels of Sony revealing its 4-point strategy to secure nominations for Spider-Man: No Way Home, two new Oscar campaign ads for the Tom Holland-led juggernaut have been shared via @mavricksmovies.
The first "For Your Consideration" banner shows highlights Tom Holland as the struggling web-slinger and states that the studios are pushing for all categories including Best Picture.
The second poster highlights Tom Holland's Spidey sharing a tender goodbye with Zendaya's MJ towards the end of the film.
It also utilizes the same quote from the San Francisco Chronicle's Mick LaSalle, who praised the film by saying, "The filmmakers put their faith in character, not fireworks..."
The start of the studios' For Your Consideration campaign also follows an interview from Sony Pictures chair Tom Rothman and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, where they described the film as a "conclusion of an epic series" and "a big picture on the big screen at a moment when the big screen experience is fighting for its life."
The Academy's Friendly Neighborhood Spider-man
Rothman's words about this moment where "the big screen experience is fighting for its life" not only apply to theaters but also the awards season itself.
Through the years, the Oscars and other awards shows haven't just dropped in terms of television ratings but also in the cultural consciousness, especially since most Oscar-contending films are typically unknown or skipped by general audiences.
In comparison, Marvel's films and its ever-growing roster of characters have become household names, shaping pop culture and winning fans both young and old alike; and while popularity shouldn't be a requisite for an Oscar film, Marvel's standard of quality in terms of its filmmaking, story, and performances should be.
Now, since Spider-Man: No Way Home outscored many of this year's "Oscar-worthy films," this discussion - and Hollywood's "bias" towards comic book films is more relevant than ever; and these new campaign ads show that the studios are serious in changing the conversation and getting the recognition they feel the film deserves.
Whether or not the Academy will seize this opportunity to expand its relevancy and definition of art this coming season remains to be seen. In the meantime, theater audiences will continue to cast their own votes at the box office for Sony and Marvel's Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.