Fri | Sep 20, 2019

‘Black Panther’ makes Oscar history with best picture nod

Published:Thursday | January 24, 2019 | 12:43 AM
This image released by Disney shows a scene from Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’. On Tuesday, January 22, 2019, the film was nominated for an Oscar for best picture. Marvel Studios-Disney via AP
Michael B. Jordan in a scene from Marvel Studios’ ‘Black Panther’. The film emerged as a major contender when nominations for the 91st Oscars were announced on Tuesday, January 22, 2019. Marvel Studios-Disney via AP


Black Panther has broken through an Oscar category wall for superheroes. The Marvel blockbuster hit became the first comic book-based film to earn a best picture nomination from the Academy Awards on Tuesday. It was a major step for comic book movies, which had previously been shunned from film’s top honour. The most notable snub was 2008’sThe Dark Knight, prompting the academy to expand the best picture category from five to up to 10 nominees.

It took a decade, butBlack Panther cracked the category after becoming a box-office hit domestically, and a cultural phenomenon. The film earned US$700 million domestically during its theatrical run.

Seven Nominations

Overall,Black Panther was rewarded a total of seven nominations, including Hannah Beachler and Jay Hart’s production design; Ruth E. Carter’s costume design and Kendrick Lamar and SZA’s songAll the Stars. The film was also nominated for best sound editing, sound mixing and original score. Beachler became the first African-American nominee for production design. She said, “To break down a wall like that, to be your ancestors’ wildest dreams, to show other young women of colour and boys and girls that you can do whatever you want no matter what struggles you have in your life – all of that. That’s what it means to me.”

Ludwig Goransson, who scored the film, gave a lot of credit to the film’s overall success to director Ryan Coogler, who was shut out of the directing category. “He’s an exceptional leader,” said Goransson of Coogler, who he’s known since college. The Grammy-nominated producer said his rapport with the director put together “memorable music” for the film. “We’re not doing anything different than what we did 10 years ago,” said Goransson, a long-time producer of Childish Gambino. “I just tried to make the best music as I could to serve Ryan’s vision. When working with him, I try to make the best possible music as I can.”

Carter said she feels proud to be a part of a film likeBlack Panther. “With this film, I felt like there was a paradigm shift,” said Carter, who was previously nominated for her designs for Spike Lee’sMalcolm X and Steven Spielberg’sAmistad. ‘’The nominations let me know that not only Marvel fans, people of Africa and African-Americans felt really happy about this film, and loved the costume designs.”