Despite the fact that the Academy Awards have added a new category that will honor "popular film," Marvel Studios is still gunning for Black Panther to earn a Best Picture nomination. Director Ryan Coogler's Black Panther became a full-on pop culture phenomenon and, beyond being extremely popular, was also incredibly well-received. That being the case, Marvel and Disney won't be content with a Best Popular Film nomination, or whatever the category ends up being named.

A recently published piece details the quest to earn Black Panther a Best Picture nomination. To date, no comic book movie has ever scored a nomination in the category, even though it's largely felt that The Dark Knight was snubbed in 2009. Wonder Woman and Logan both missed out last year. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige spoke about the topic and wants to see Ryan Coogler get the recognition he deserves. Here's what he had to say about it.

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"I would like to see the hard work and the effort and the vision and the belief of the talented filmmaker Ryan Coogler, who sat across the table from us a few years ago and said, 'I have been wrestling with questions about my past and my heritage and I think I really want to tell a story within this movie.' And that he did it so unbelievably well and with so much impact... seeing that potentially being recognized is what excites me the most."

Recently, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced several changes for next year's Oscars broadcast. The most notable of these changes, and the most controversial one, was the addition of the popular film category. This will allow for more popular movies, such as Black Panther, to earn nominations, with the hope being that it could attract more viewers for the broadcast. The decision was met with a great deal of backlash from those working in the industry and from several Academy voters.

The concern is that such a category could undermine the accomplishments of certain popular movies. Perhaps no movie would better exemplify that than Black Panther, if it were to be nominated in the new category but not in the Oscars category of Best Picture. Academy CEO Dawn Hudson even wants to see Marvel's blockbuster score a nomination in the most coveted category, according to an Oscar consultant.

"Right now, I think Dawn Hudson would crawl in a hole if 'Black Panther' gets snubbed for best picture and winds up landing in the popular film category. The funny thing is that Dawn would be way more disappointed than anyone at Marvel."

Black Panther absolutely obliterated any and all expectations on every level, ultimately earning more than $1.3 billion at the box office, becoming one of the MCU's most successful movies to date. If ever there were a movie that feels like it could defy the odds and score a Best Picture nomination, this could be it. It will be very interesting to see how this shakes out as awards season ramps up. This news comes to us courtesy of the Los Angeles Times.

Ryan Scott at Movieweb
Ryan Scott